What Jack McGrath did for Ian McKinley after Ireland's win over Italy was pure class
There was to be no romantic homecoming for Ian McKinley against Ireland. The Dublin-born fly-half made Conor O'Shea's initial 31-man squad for the Azzurri's trip to the Aviva Stadium two weeks ago but fell short of being included in the final 23.
McKinley was forced to retire in 2011 after losing his sight in one eye but made a comeback in Italy three years later wearing specially-designed protective goggles.
The former Leinster man is eligible to represent Italy by way of residency but O'Shea by-passed what would have been a sentimental decision in including him for the clash in Dublin.
Although it was a bitterly disappointing day for McKinley, the 28-year-old's spirits were lifted by Ireland loosehead prop Jack McGrath, who offered his shirt to McKinley in a kind gesture.
McKinley shared the shirt on Twitter, complete with a sly dig at McGrath's wider frame.
Big thanks to @jackmc100 for giving me his jersey last week after the Ireland v Italy game.Might take me a while to fit into the 2xl but it’s really appreciated bud. Good luck this weekend👊🏻👊🏻👊🏻 pic.twitter.com/frM7lJVU8j
— Ian McKinley (@ianmck7) February 20, 2018
Of course, his fellow Dubliner wasn't going to let him get away with that, replying with a sure-fire tip for McKinley to add some timber.
My pleasure bud!! Bit more bread and wine you’ll fit in it just fine 😂 🍷 🥖
— Jack McGrath (@jackmc100) February 20, 2018
It was a nice touch from McGrath. Seeing as McKinley was only a reserve, McGrath obviously wouldn't have received a shirt in return. He didn't care though - he just wanted to give his former Ireland U20 teammate something to smile about.