Ireland born out-half Ian McKinley is set to make his debut for Italy, after being named among the replacements for the side's opening November International against Fiji this weekend.

The former Leinster player, who lost the sight in his left eye six years ago in an on-field accident, was initially forced to retire after the incident but has since revived his career.

He returned to the game using special goggles approved by rugby authorities and has impressed for Benetton Treviso in the Guinness Pro14.

He qualifies for the Azzurri under the residency rule, and received the call-up for Conor O'Shea's side last month ahead of the November Internationals. The 27-year-old was included in an extended training squad ahead of this summer’s tour but did not make the final cut.

Speaking to RTÉ Sport earlier this month, McKinley admitted that playing international rugby for Italy would be a dream for him.

"It’s an honour and privilege to be part of it," he said.

"It would mean everything. Italy has been there for me.

"It is my home now. I’m very much part of the furniture. They supported me during the goggle trial. They were one of the first nations to sign up for the trial.

"Zebre gave me my first chance at playing back in professional rugby in the Pro12. Treviso have stuck with me when maybe other teams wouldn’t have. I owe an awful lot to Italy."

The clash between Italy and Fiji takes place on Saturday in Catania with a 2pm kick-off.