Israeli club Tel Aviv Heat are poised to add spice to the Mzansi Challenge, SA Rugby’s new competition, by fielding a strong contingent of South African players, and coaches.
The six Currie Cup First Division outfits will be joined by five international sides in the inaugural Mzansi Challenge – the Diables (Spain), Simbas (Kenya), Windhoek Draught Welwitschias (Namibia), Tel Aviv Heat (Israel) and Goshawks (Zimbabwe).
The Heat was reportedly founded in 2021 by US-based venture capitalist and Wits University graduate Michael Aron and fellow investor and UCT graduate Barry Seidel.
Jamba Ulengo, Wiehahn Herbst, and Jordan Chait are just a few names that will turn out for the Israeli outfit, but the South African core goes deeper. The coaching staff includes former UCT coach Kevin Musikanth, who led the Ikeys to the Varsity Cup title in 2014, and he will be assisted by former Southern Kings and Stormers flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis.
Numerous South Africans have played for the Heat in the past, including Josh Strauss, Nic Groom and Jurie van Vuuren.
The Mzansi Challenge kicks off on 24 March with the final set for 17 June.