Philadelphia, PA, February 8 – Jeff Simon and Josh Kaplan, 19th Maccabiah USA Open Rugby Co-Chairmen, announce the complete appointment of the Open Men’s Rugby Team that will compete in Rugby 15s and Rugby 7s at the 19th World Maccabiah Games in Israel in July. Coach Shawn Lipman, Assistant Coaches Gregory Schor Haskin and David Rudzinsky, with Managers Barry Seidel and David Danker, have been working with the Rugby applicants over the last year to develop an elite team through intensive conditioning and fitness training.

Final trials took place January 30 – February 3 at the Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA.  Over 40 applicants for the team gathered for intensive fitness training, which included a rigorous workout with the U.S. Navy Seals at their facility on Coronado Island and culminated with a match against the San Diego Aztecs, where the USA Maccabiah Rugby applicants played phenomenally.

Attending the trials to support the selection process were Maccabi Rugby legends, former 2001 captain and 2009 coach Craig Levine and Gary Puterman. Craig won gold in 1997 and captained the silver medal team in 2001, and Gary was a three-time gold medalist and member of the 2009 team. Marc Stcherbina, a two-time Commonwealth Games medal winner in Rugby and world-class professional player was at the trials to support the coaching staff.

The team roster includes: Zack Abbott of Ann Arbor, MI; Gabe Adler of Los Angeles, CA; Ross Biestman of Oakland, CA; Jared Braun of Berkeley, CA; David Cohen of Marietta, GA; Joel Cohen of Rockville, MD; Seth Cohen of New York, NY; Shawn Cox of Austin, TX; Matthew Crawford of Walnut Creek, CA; Aaron Davis, Team Vice Captain, of Venice, CA; Elliot Dillon-Herzog of Evanston, IL; Raymond Fleser of Narragansett, RI; Taylor Howden of Denver, CO; Joji Kurosaki of Portland, OR; Max Levine of San Francisco, CA; Guy Matisis of Weymouth, MA; Tanner Mohr of Davis, CA; James Murray of New York, NY; Jacob Poliakoff of Poway, CA; Alan Roniss of Long Beach, CA; William Rudman of San Francisco, CA; Michael Rudzinsky of Reading, MA; Ross Silverman of Santa Barbara, CA; Joshua Slater of Denver, CO; Dallen Stanford, Team Captain, of Santa Monica, CA; Kevin Swiryn of Bellevue, WA; Zach Test of Redwood City, CA; Jasper Wilson of New York, NY; Roman Wilson of Norman, OK; Ilya Wortman of Boston, MA; Shawn Lipman, Head Coach, Hidden Hills, CA; Gregory Schor Haskin, Assistant Coach, of Miramar, FL; David Rudzinsky, Assistant Coach, of Reading, MA; Barry Seidel, Manager, of Encino, CA; David Danker, Strength and Conditioning Coordinator, of Foster City, CA; and Sarah Sall, Medical Trainer, of Philadelphia, PA.

This elite level team includes current and former International and U.S. National Team athletes: Dallen Stanford; Kevin Swiryn and Zach Test.

In preparation for Israel the team has attracted the support of Alan Ozdamar,the strength and conditioning coach for the US National Olympic rugby team, and Integrated Athletics International, a leading speed, conditioning and muscle reactive therapy group, under the leadership of  Mathias Narducci. With their support the team will be training under Olympic and world class standards. John Dibatista a leading sports psychology and leadership consultant will also be working with the squad on mental preparation and leadership training.

“Shawn, and the entire management team have done an amazing job of building a foundation for our rugby program where we have been able to attract the best Jewish Rugby players from the USA,” commented Simon. “We have high expectations for the team to take gold medals in both Rugby 15s and Rugby 7s. This will be an amazing experience for all the athletes, both on and off the field, as there is no other event in the world where the most elite Jewish Rugby players gather for International competition and have the opportunity to compete against the best in their sport as well as to experience the culture and history of Israel.”

For more information, or to schedule an interview, please contact Coach Lipman at slipman1@me.com.

About the organization:

Maccabi USA (MUSA) is a federally-recognized not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization with an extensive history of enriching Jewish lives through athletic, cultural and educational programs.  The organization is the official sponsor of the United States Team to the World Maccabiah Games, the Pan American Maccabi Games and the Maccabi competitions in Europe and Australia, as well as a sponsor of the JCC Maccabi Games for teens in North America.  As the official Maccabi representative in the U.S., Maccabi USA supports Jewish athletic endeavors, enhanced by cultural and educational activities in the United States, Israel and throughout the Diaspora.

MUSA develops, promotes and supports international, national and regional athletic-based activities and facilities.  It strives to provide Jewish athletes the world over the opportunity to share their heritage and customs in competitive athletic settings.  MUSA supports programs that embody the Maccabi ideals of Jewish Continuity, Zionism and Excellence in Sport.  Maccabi USA Builds Jewish Pride Through Sports.