Ian Mckinley and four other stars who played through disabilities

Italy international Ian McKinley has confirmed his retirement from rugby for the second time. 

He first hung up his boots following a horror eye injury he suffered at the age of 21 in 2011. He sustained a detached retina during an All-Ireland League game that caused him to lose sight in his left eye, forcing his first retirement. 

The Leinster Academy graduate moved to Italy to coach rugby before becoming the first player in the world to use specially-made rugby goggles, which protected his good eye and allowed him relaunch his career. 

Here are four other players who overcame disabilities to enjoy successful playing careers:

#1. 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’.

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