Shawn fell in love with rugby as a boy in South Africa. His selection as team captain of the under 13A team set him on a path of involvement in rugby for the rest of his life. In high school Shawn earned full team colors and then went on to play at the University of Witwatersrand on a rugby scholarship, where he was a finalist for selection to the South African Universities team, and was selected for the Transvaal under 20 team, the highest level age grade level in the country. Prior to leaving South Africa, Shawn was selected for the 1985 South African Maccabi team, winning gold at the World Games and gaining selection to the World Maccabi team.
After emigrating to the United States in 1986, Shawn joined the Santa Monica Rugby Club and over the 11 years he played for them, he captained them for many seasons and was named as Most Valuable Player in seven seasons.
In 2006 Shawn was inducted to the Santa Monica Rugby Hall of Fame.
Shawn was selected to represent the Southern California Griffins and Pacific Coast Grizzlies over many seasons, and captained them on many occasions. Shawn toured South Africa in 1988 with the Grizzlies and played against some of the best provincial teams in the country.
In 1988, Shawn was selected for the United States National Team and went on to play over 20 international matches, including 9 test matches. He represented the Eagles at the 1991 Rugby World Cup and played in all three tests against the All Blacks, England and Italy.
Shawn was inducted into the National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2004, with other notable athletes like Mark Spitz, Sandy Koufax and Jason Lezak. In 2011, Shawn was inducted into the Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame and the Maccabi USARugby Hall of Fame in 2018.
Maccabi USA Rugby
Shawn has had a very successful run in the Maccabiah Games, having played for the USA in 1989, 1993, 1997 and 2009. Shawn captained the US team in 1993 and 1997, and was selected as MVP of the Maccabiah Games Rugby tournament in 1989, 1993, and 1997. Shawn was elected in 1997 as the Flag Bearer to lead the entire United States delegation in the opening ceremonies.
Shawn coached the US team to Gold in rugby sevens in 2013 and Bronze in fiteens. In 2017 he coached the team to Gold in fifteens, 20 years after captaining the side to the United States first gold, both times beating the tournament favorite, South Africa. Shawn is the first person to win Gold in rugby as a player and coach for the USA.
Hall of Fame Plaque
The most decorated person in the history of World Maccabi Rugby. Gold Medalist as Head Coach in both fifteens and sevens and Gold Medalist as a player for two nations.
Head Coach USA 20th World Maccabiah Games 2017-Gold
Head Coach USA 19th World Maccabiah Games 2013-Gold- in Sevens, Bronze in XVs
Captain, Flanker USA 15th World Maccabiah Games 1997-Gold
Flag Bearer of USA Maccabi Delegation-1997
Captain, Flanker USA 14th World Maccabiah Games 1993-Silver
MVP World Maccabiah Games 1989,1993, 1997
Flanker USA 18th World Maccabiah Games 2009-Bronze
Flanker USA 13th World Maccabiah Games 1993-Bronze
Second Row South Africa 12th Maccabiah Games 1985-Gold
Inductee National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 2004
Inductee Southern California Jewish Sports Hall of Fame, 2011
Inductee, Santa Monica Rugby Football Club Hall of Fame, 2006
Flanker, USA National Rugby Team in 20 matches, 9 caps and in 1991 Rugby World Cup
Selected and Captained Pacific Coast Grizzlies 1988 to 1993
Selected and Captained Southern California Griffins 1988-1993
USA Cougars- Melrose Sevens-1990
MVP Santa Monica RFC-7 Seasons
Captain and Member Santa Monica RFC 1986-1997
Selected to Transvaal Under 20
Member and Blues awardee, University of Witwatersrand RFC