6 inspirational rugby players with disabilities - Ruck

6 inspirational rugby players with disabilities

From legendary All Blacks winger Jonah Lomu to current England prop Ellis Genge, this article takes a look at a number of rugby players who overcame disabilities to achieve big things in the sport they love. 

These inspiring achievers pursued their dreams and achieved so much!


1. Ian Mckinley – Blindness

It’s now roughly eight years since the accident that led to Ian McKinley losing the sight in his left eye. In a freak accident, a stray boot from a fellow teammate perforated his left eye while playing a club match in 2010 for University College Dublin, leaving him partially blind in that eye. The injury would be a career-ending one for 99.9% of professional athletes but not for McKinley.

2. Henry Slade – Type 1 Diabetes

Slade signed his first professional contract with Exeter Chiefs at the age of 18, the same year in which he also developed type 1 diabetes. Under the 2010 Equality Act, type 1 diabetes is defined as a disability, in that it may have a ‘substantial, long-term, negative impact on a person’s ability to carry out normal, day-to-day activities’.