As a proud and successful rugby playing nation, the sport has always been very popular and highly regarded by Maccabi SA and the Jewish community. There have been ten Jewish Springboks, known as the “Springbok Minyan” starting with Morris Zimmerman’s debut in December 1931, followed by Louis Babrow, Fred Smollan, Dr Cecil Moss, Alan Menter, Joseph Kaminer, Syd Nomis, Dr Wilf Rosenberg, Joel Stransky and Okey Geffin. Geffin is considered to be the greatest Jewish rugby player of all time and together with Nomis, Rosenberg and Stransky was inducted into the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame. Although none played Maccabi rugby, Geffin did represent Maccabi SA at bowls in 1969.

Maccabi SA has sent rugby teams to the last eight Maccabiot. The Senior team last won a medal (gold) at the 2005 Games while the Juniors won gold in the 15’s and 7’s formats in 2013.


Maccabi SA’s rugby management is looking to put together well trained and competitive Junior and Senior teams to compete and reclaim South Africa’s place at the top of Maccabi Rugby. Trials have been set for early 2016. The squad will go through intensive coaching, fitness, conditioning and warm up games before departing for the Maccabiah in 2017.

Junior Rugby – Peter Fine:

Open Rugby – Brad