Ross McKinnon commenced his first grade career as a five-eight for the University club in 1933.
He played 18 games for University before joining Easts (Roosters) to be the centre partner for Dave Brown.
Ross played for NSW as an 18 year old. In total he played seven games for NSW and eight Tests for Australia between 1935 and 1938, including the Kangaroo tour of 1937-38.
With Easts (Roosters), Ross was in the premiership winning teams of 1935, 1936 and 1937.
Injuries plagued his career as he only played 23 games for Easts (Roosters) between 1935 and 1938.
Ross joined Cessnock as captain-coach in 1939 before retiring. He coached Canterbury for two seasons, taking the team to the final in 1946 and to the Grand Final in 1947. Ross also coached North Sydney in 1952, 1953 and in 1959.