NIck Bell, Matt Whalen,Jamie Wiles, part of the NOVA Champion 7 a side
Rugby has always played an integral role in Nick Bell’s life. From discovering the game, as a youth, in high school to playing for the Men’s National Team,
Nick Bell grew up in northern Virginia and much like other youth, he was an avid soccer and basketball player. A chance encounter was his entry into the sport when Nick saw a group of kids running around with this white ball. It looked fascinating the way they were running, passing and tackling, seemingly with no break in action. The cadence and intensity of the game captured his curiosity. Nick walked over to the sideline, watching intently and the rest is history.
Nick Bell v Norfolk
Nick Bell joined West End High School Rugby (Springfield, VA) in the late 80s, playing for a great high school club under the storied Mike Sodhi. After high school rugby he continued to play at George Mason University. Like every other college at that time, Rugby was a club sport. However, fortune being on his side, Nick had a great coach, from the UK, who brought forth another dimension to the game. It was there, where Nick started to fully understand the “brotherhood” mentality of rugby. It was here where Nick had his first opportunity to travel abroad. They toured to England and Wales in 1991, followed by tours with various collegiate select sides to Canada and abroad. During those rugby years Nick had the great honor of representing various PRU, MARFU and EAST select sides in both 15s and 7s.
After college, Nick Bell landed at Northern Virginia (NOVA) Men’s Club, where there were many great years, lifelong friends made, a National 7s title and many near misses. Again, during those years as a senior player Nick had great opportunities to represent PRU/MARFU/EAST select sides in both 15s and 7s.
Nick Bell with David Dixie Dean in support
In 1995, Nick Bell was invited on my first international tour, Taiwan 7s, with USA Rugby’s Men’s Sevens team. Nick remembered the very first time he put on the jersey to represent the US. His first match was against Sri Lanka. Nick played for the Eagles on and off for several years. Traveling the world in the name of rugby was an ever-satisfying experience. The tours were always memorable, from the players to the coaches to every venue. Nick touched almost all continents wearing the red, white and blue. In addition, Nick went on several tours with Atlantis and shared the pitch with other VA alums. (Our 1995 Atlantis team was the first and only US team to win the Benidorm 7s tournament.) and later represented US as an Eagles alum via Team America (Bermuda, Canada, etc.) After the competitive years Nick stayed connected with his rugby roots and played many a tournament with the ever-feared Virginia Cardinals. Nick loved it all and hopes the music never stops.
After Nick retired from active playing, he still wanted to stay involved in the rugby community and find a way to give back. In 2012, Nick joined USA Rugby Trust’s Board of Directors. His fondest memory serving on the board was being asked to chair the Host Committee for the Rugby 7s World Cup held in SF. A great opportunity to help put on a World Rugby Event on our own soil.
The next generation – the baton has been passed on to my boys, I have one son who currently plays and another who will be starting this year (Pandemic permitting). It brings me great joy to see the growth of the game.
Rugby has been a positive experience though out Nick's life. Cheers to all the friends and experiences it has afforded him.
Nick Bell, Virginia Cardinal
Nick Bell at Fort Lauderdale Ruggerfest
Commonwealth of Virginia Rugby Hall of Fame