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Friday 2 December 2016

Carrzone: McKinley's achievement should inspire Ireland team

Behind the headlines with Eamon Carr

Ian McKinley
Ian McKinley
Mike Ashley

The most inspiring Irish rugby story of the week happened at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi in Parma, where Zebre met Scarlets in their third Pro 12 game of the season and the name Ian McKinley appeared on the squad list.

McKinley was a promising Leinster out-half when injury lead to him losing the sight of one eye.

He's admitted he stopped playing rugby in 2011 when his remaining eye was gouged for a second time. His career in ruins, McKinley went to Italy and began coaching underage.

The discovery of protective goggles that are allowed in Italy but banned here, enabled him to begin playing again. His performances for Italian club Viadana resulted in a call up by understrength Zebre last week. McKinley, who's also had a run out for the Barbarians, tweeted his excitement.

"I may look slightly different than the last time but I'm still the same." Ian Madigan replied, "Incredible achievement, It shows your strength of character.

"Hopefully we line up against each other again just like the auld times," he added.

Newcastle own worst enemies

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Newcastle United appear to be doing their best to make good my summer prediction that they'd be relegated this season. The club has a history of getting things wrong.

In December 2010, Newcastle players were shocked when Chris Hughton was sacked while the team were 11th in the Premier League. The former Ireland full-back had been appointed caretaker boss in summer of 2009 when the Magpies were relegated. Impressed with the team's progress in the Championship, owner Mike Ashley (above) confirmed his role in October. Hughton achieved promotion with two games to spare but wasn't offered a contract.

Impatient with a Premier League mid-table position and despite a 5-0 thrashing of local rivals Sunderland, Ashley let Hughton go. His initial replacement was Peter Beardsley. Since then, they've had Alan Pardew, John Carver and now Steve McClaren. Newcastle have yet to win a match this season.

Alan Shearer, boss when they were last relegated, complains about the club's "losing mentality."

 

Congressman Pacquiao is set to run for the Senate

Manny Pacquiao has announced he'll be running for a seat in the Philippines Senate elections next May.

The superstar boxer is already a congressman and introduced 15 bills in his two terms. However, his election campaign could be interrupted by his training camp schedule if Top Rank mogul Bob Arum succeeds in confirming a fight between Pacquiao and British fighter Amir Khan which is planned for between February and April next year.

Arum follows the money so the fight could take place in Dubai, Macau or Las Vegas. It would ensure another big payday for Pacquiao, who's believed to have earned $120 million from his fight with Floyd Mayweather.

The world champion has yet to announce which party he'll stand for in the elections. Some voters are complaining that the PacMan attended just four sessions of Congress last year.

 

Trump against Redskins change

Claiming the name the Washington Redskins is associated with genocide and racism, the National Congress of Americans Indians has been lobbying for decades for the NFL team to change its name.

Hilary Clinton has described the name as "insensitive." Now Donald Trump, claiming this is a case of unnecessary political correctness, has joined in saying, "I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name."

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