Alex McKinnon (rugby league)

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Alex McKinnon
McKinnon playing for the Knights in 2012
Personal information
Born (1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 (age 27)
Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia
Playing information
Height188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight102 kg (16 st 1 lb)
PositionSecond-row, Lock, Centre
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2011 St. George Illawarra 3 2 0 0 8
2012–14 Newcastle Knights 46 4 0 0 16
Total 49 6 0 0 24
Years Team Pld T G FG P
2013 NSW Country 1 0 0 0 0
Source: [1]

Alex McKinnon (born 5 February 1992) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer whose career was cut short by a spinal injury suffered in a 2014 National Rugby League Premiership match against Melbourne.[2] A Country New South Wales representative second-row, McKinnon also played lock and centre. He started his career with the St. George Illawarra Dragons before moving to the Newcastle Knights in 2012.

Early life[edit]

Born in the Hunter Valley region of Aberdeen, New South Wales on 5 February 1992 to parents Scott and Kate McKinnon, he moved to St Gregory's College, Campbelltown in Grade 7 and played his junior football for the Aberdeen Tigers. He then signed with the St. George Illawarra Dragons.

Professional playing career[edit]

St. George Illawarra[edit]

McKinnon played for the Dragons' Toyota Cup team from 2008 to 2010, playing in 41 games.[3] McKinnon was named on the bench in Round 11 of the 2010 NRL season after prop Dan Hunt was ruled out in the warm up, however he didn't get on the field. In Round 14 of the 2011 NRL season he made his NRL debut for the Dragons against the Gold Coast Titans. He scored 2 tries on debut. At the end of 2011, McKinnon was named at second-row in the 2011 Toyota Cup Team of the Year. He signed a 3-year contract with the Newcastle Knights starting in 2012 to be closer to his family in the Hunter Region and the fact he is originally from the area.[4]

Newcastle Knights[edit]

In Round 1 of the 2012 NRL season, McKinnon made his debut for the Knights against his former team, the St. George Illawarra Dragons. After playing the first 7 rounds, McKinnon was named at second-row in the inaugural Under 20's State of Origin match for New South Wales.[5] On 2 October 2012, McKinnon was named at second-row in the Junior Kangaroos team to face the Junior Kiwis.[6]

In 2013, McKinnon was selected for the Country team to play the City in the annual City vs Country Origin match.


While playing in the 2014 NRL season round 3 match against Melbourne at AAMI Park, McKinnon was injured in a dangerous tackle close to half-time with Storm players Jordan McLean, Jesse Bromwich and Kenny Bromwich. McKinnon suffered fractures to his C4 and C5 vertebrae and was admitted to The Alfred Hospital and placed in a medically induced coma.[7] McLean was given a seven-match suspension for the tackle.[8][9]

McKinnon was left a quadriplegic.[8] He received the maximum insurance pay out of $500,000 and was assured a "job for life" with the NRL.[10] The NRL's Round 19 in 2014 included a fundraising event called "Rise for Alex", with $1 for every fan attending any of the eight games donated to help him pay for his continuous medical bills and rehabilitation.[11][12]

McKinnon began working with the Knights in January 2015 and in October 2015 became a recruitment co-ordinator.[13] In December 2016, McKinnon announced that he would sue the NRL and Melbourne Storm's Jordan McLean for compensation.[14][15] In March 2017, McKinnon quit his role with the Knights to focus on public speaking.[16]

Personal life[edit]

McKinnon is married to Teigan Power, whom he proposed to two weeks after his injury. They welcomed their first child, a baby girl named Harriet Anne on October 7, 2018.[17]


  1. ^ Rugby League Project
  2. ^ "Jordan McLean gets 7 week suspension for Alex McKinnon throw". Sunshine Coast Daily. 2 April 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Archived item". Archived from the original on 13 January 2010. Retrieved 2009-12-28./db/player/m/mckinnon_alex/index.php
  4. ^ Rothfield, Phil (11 June 2011). "Dragons' new star to follow Wayne Bennett". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  5. ^[dead link]
  6. ^ "Junior Kangaroos side announced". 2 October 2012. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  7. ^ "McLean Sends Message to Injured McKinnon". SBS. 26 March 2014. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  8. ^ a b Smart, Nick (7 June 2014). "How One Tackle Changed the Lives of Newcastle Player Alex McKinnon and Melbourne storm's Jordan McLean". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 20 December 2015.
  9. ^ "Jordan McLean needs 'support' after Alex McKinnon tackle | Sport". The Guardian. 3 April 2014. Retrieved 12 December 2015.
  10. ^ Glover, Ben (6 July 2015). "Alex McKinnon interview: Paralysed former Newcastle Knights star admits he wanted to die". Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  11. ^ Keeble, Brett (14 July 2014). "Injured Knight Alex McKinnon launches NRL's Rise For Alex Round: photos, video". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  12. ^ Prentice, Tim (16 July 2014). "NRL's 'Rise For Alex' round turns a black eye into a triumph". The Roar. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  13. ^ Decent, Tom (25 October 2015). "Alex McKinnon starts new recruitment job at Newcastle Knights". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  14. ^ Phil Rothfield. "Alex McKinnon to sue the NRL and Melbourne Storm player Jordon McLean over tackle that left him paralysed". The Daily Telegraph.
  15. ^ Darcy, Simon; Jonson, Paul (21 December 2016). "No other recourse but to sue? The implications of Alex McKinnon's lawsuit against the NRL". The Conversation. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  16. ^ "Alex McKinnon steps away from Knights role, shock put down for Panthers — Media Watch". Fox News. 2 March 2017. Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Knights hero Alex McKinnon and Teigan Power tie knot". Retrieved 23 December 2017.

External links[edit]