Alex McKinnon (rugby league)
|McKinnon playing for the Knights in 2012|
5 February 1992 |
Aberdeen, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||188 cm (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||102 kg (16 st 1 lb)|
|Position||Second-row, Lock, Centre|
|2011||St. George Illawarra Dragons||3||2||0||0||8|
|Source: Rugby League Project|
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, leaving him a quadriplegic. A Country New South Wales representative second-row forward, he also played lock and centre. He started his career with the St. George Illawarra Dragons before moving to the Newcastle Knights in 2012.
Born in Aberdeen, New South Wales, 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
St. George Illawarra
McKinnon played for the Dragons' Toyota Cup team from 2008 to 2010, playing in 41 games. 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.
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. On 2 October 2012, McKinnon was named at second-row in the Junior Kangaroos team to face the Junior Kiwis.
McKinnon played for Newcastle at the 2014 NRL Auckland Nines tournament. While playing in the 2014 NRL season round 3 match against Melbourne, McKinnon was injured in a dangerous tackle close to half-time, resulting in the Knights forward suffering two fractured neck vertebrae and facing life as a quadriplegic. In Round 19, there was a fundraising event to help him pay for his continuous medical bills and rehabilitation.
- How one tackle changed the lives of Newcastle player Alex McKinnon and Melbourne Storm's Jordan McLean, The Daily Telegraph (Australia), 8 June 2014