In their final trial match before the start of the 2008 Rugby season the Sydney Convicts will take on the Maccabi Rugby team.

The game has been hailed as the ultimate Eastern Suburbs minority rugby clash.

The Sydney Convicts is Australia’s first gay rugby club while Maccabi is the country’s only Jewish team in the code.

Maccabi’s club secretary, Col Samuel, said the two clubs shared a common thread because the players were brought together because they shared similar backgrounds.

In Maccabi’s case it is their Jewish heritage and for the Convicts it is as a rugby team founded primarily for gay men.

Convicts president Andrew Purchas said the teams challenged stereotypes and provided an opportunity for players to play in an environment in which they felt comfortable.

We are very competitive despite drawing from a small pool of players, he said.

Convicts team manager Iain Jepsen said it was a great opportunity for the two communities to come together in the spirit of tolerance and diversity.

We may end up having a regular pre season comp, he said.

The game between the Convicts and Maccabi begins at 12.30pm on Saturday at the Woollahra Colleagues Grounds, No 2 Oval, end of Manion Ave, Rose Bay.

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