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Retired McKinley lands AIL coaching role

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Former Italy international Ian McKinley: Coaching role with Rainey Old Boys. Photo: Sportsfile

Former Italy international Ian McKinley: Coaching role with Rainey Old Boys. Photo: Sportsfile

Former Italy international Ian McKinley: Coaching role with Rainey Old Boys. Photo: Sportsfile

Former Italy international Ian McKinley has been unveiled as the new head coach of AIL side Rainey Old Boys after hanging up his boots yesterday.

The 31-year-old has been working with the Co Derry club since last summer after returning from Italy in the wake of the pandemic’s first lockdown.

McKinley, who played nine times for Italy, will officially take over in June from the long-serving John Andrews who is standing down at the AIL Division 2A club.

Dublin-born McKinley, who also played for Leinster, is a well-known figure in the game due to his return to play professional rugby in specially-made goggles after being blinded in one eye due to an on-field accident during an AIL game in 2011.

After spending seven years playing and coaching in Italy, the former out-half and his wife Cordelia came back to her home in Bellaghy, Derry last summer where the couple have now settled with their baby son. 

“I want to thank the rugby community in Ireland and Italy especially, who have been incredibly supportive in my playing journey from beginning to end,” McKinley said in a statement.

“But mostly I’d like to thank my amazing wife, family and friends who have lifted me up in my darkest days and have supported me unconditionally. I look forward to what the future holds.”

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