A stray boot blinded Ian McKinley in one eye but now he is in Conor O’Shea’s Italy squad

Italy head coach Conor O’Shea on Wednesday named five uncapped players in a 31-man squad to face Fiji,Argentina and South Africa later this month.

Fullback Matteo Minozzi, Irish-born flyhalf Ian McKinley, New Zealand-born centre Jayden Hayward and back rowers Renato Giammarioli and Giovanni Licata are the new faces in the squad as O’Shea continues to blood new players.

McKinley lost the sight in his eye the following year and was forced to retire, but he returned in 2014 wearing protective goggles and now represents Italian side Treviso.


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He became eligible for the Italian national team in January, and is now expected to make his debut next month in the Azzurri’s Tests against Fiji, Argentina and South Africa.

“I’m convinced we’re on the right path. We need to stay focussed on our own performances,” said Irishman O’Shea.


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“I don’t want the lads to think of the result but that they concentrate on their performance.”

Italy host Fiji in Catania on November 11 before Argentina are the visitors to Florence a week later, and the Azzurri’s autumn programme ends with a clash against South Africa in Padova on November 25.

Squad:
Forwards: Dario Chistolini (Zebre), Simone Ferrari (Treviso), Andrea Lovotti (Zebre), Tiziano Pasquali (Treviso), Federico Zani (Treviso), Luca Bigi (Treviso), Oliviero Fabiani (Zebre), Leonardo Ghiraldini (Toulouse/FRA), Dean Budd (Treviso), Marco Fuser (Treviso), Marco Lazzaroni (Treviso), Federico Ruzza (Treviso), Renato Giammarioli (Zebre), Giovanni Licata (Fiamme Oro), Francesco Minto (Treviso), Sergio Parisse (Stade Francais/FRA), Jurgens Steyn (Treviso), Sebastian Negri (Treviso)
Backs: Edoardo Gori (Treviso), Tito Tebaldi (Treviso), Marcello Violi (Zebre), Carlo Canna (Zebre), Ian McKinley (Treviso), Tommaso Boni (Zebre), Tommaso Castello (Zebre), Jayden Hayward (Treviso), Mattia Bellini (Zebre), Angelo Esposito (Treviso), Leonardo Sarto (Glasgow Warriors/SCO), Matteo Minozzi (Zebre), Edoardo Padovani (Toulon/FRA)
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