Ryan Nell began playing rugby at 4 years old in Cape Town, South Africa. From the first day his cleats touched the field, Nell’s agility and unwavering energy made him stand out. His team-centric mindset and relentlessness have played key roles in many of his rugby accomplishments.
Nell began playing rugby competitively during his school years from ages 7-18 for Paarl Gimnasium; primarily as a center but on occasion as a winger or full-back. He represented the Western Province at the U19 and U21 levels from 2009-2011. Nell was offered the opportunity to play at Stellenbosch University, where he played for the Maties (2011-2013) and captained them for the 2012/2013 season. He competed in the Springbok Sevens (2012) and captained the university side during the South Africa Universities Sevens (2013).
After Stellenbosch, Nell once again represented the Western Province in 2013 before going on to play for the Blue Bulls in the 2014/2015 season. In 2016 Nell played for the Boland Cavaliers where he had 18 appearances and scored 65 points. Noted for his performance on the field, Nell was named the 2016 Player of the Year for the Boland Cavaliers. He then went on to play for the Pumas (2017-2019) before accepting an offer with Rugby ATL in 2019.
When he isn’t playing rugby, Nell likes to hike and spend time in the great outdoors.