Ian McKinley's remarkable return to competitive rugby has been rewarded with a call-up to the Italy training squad for their June Test series - six years after losing the sight in his left eye.

Out-half McKinley was a fine prospect for both Ireland and Leinster but the 27-year-old's progress was dealt a devastating blow in 2011, when an accidental clash seriously damaged his eye, a trailing foot almost causing his eyeball to be removed from its socket.

He regained 70% vision in the injured eye and actually produced a man-of-the-match performance for Leinster against Treviso later that year, but the problem worsened and after another operation he was forced to retire. 

However after a coaching jaunt in the Italian town of Udine eventually led to his playing return - wearing special protective goggles - McKinley moved back up the ladder.

Impressive stints with Leonorso Udine and Viadana earned him a contract with Zebre in 2015/16, and then Treviso for the current campaign, in which he's played 24 times in the Pro12 and Challenge Cup.

Now, Azzurri head coach Conor O'Shea has called the Dubliner into his 44-man panel as his team prepare for summer Tests against Scotland, Fiji and Australia.

McKinley qualifies for Italy under the residency rule.