Tuesday 20 March 2018

Compiled by Cian Tracey

McKinley launches online campaign

Former Leinster out-half Ian McKinley has launched an online campaign calling on the IRFU and World Rugby to allow him to play on Irish soil.

The 25-year old lost his sight in his left eye in 2010 when a team-mate accidentally stood on it at a ruck but he has continued playing professionally with the aid of newly developed protective goggles.

McKinley is currently playing with Italian side Zebre but cannot play against Connacht this weekend as the IRFU have declined to participate in the trial use of the goggles, effectively blocking rugby players that require the goggles from playing in Ireland.

24 rugby unions internationally are participating in the trial, including seven of the top 10 ranked nations in the world. Only the Irish, English and French unions have declined to participate.

"It is heart-breaking that I am not currently allowed to play in my own home country," McKinley said.

You can sign on online petition by logging on to change.org and searching for 'Ian McKinley'.

Meyer 'cried for 24 hours' after Japan loss

After a horror start to the tournament in losing to Japan, South Africa bounced back to claim top spot in their pool but coach Heyneke Meyer has revealed the toll that it took on him personally.

Meyer came in for heavy criticism from every quarter, particularly from back home, and in the build-up to tomorrow's quarter-final meeting with Wales he admitted: "I cried for about 24 hours. And, as you see, my hair is greyer.

"There have not been leaders in time of peace. It is when there is war that you see real leaders come through."

Mazda set for second Connacht roadshow

Following on from last year's success, Mazda will continue with its roadshow in two separate venues over the coming weeks.

The first will take Carton House tomorrow and the second at Buccaneers RFC, Athlone on Sunday, November 8. It is an ideal opportunity for kids to come along and meet their Connacht heroes, while adults will have the chance to test-drive Mazda vehicles.

Quote of the day

"My dad follows the family history very closely, and we definitely come from Cork or Munster territory. I've never actually been there."

- Australia out-half Bernard Foley reveals his Irish roots.

Number of the day

988 The number of caps that the All Blacks have in their starting XV to play France tomorrow - a record for the most experienced side ever to play in the knockout stages.

Compiled by Cian Tracey

Irish Independent

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