JAVAN SEBASTIAN, the three-times capped Scotland tight-head prop, will join Edinburgh in the summer on a two-year deal.
The Carmarthen-born 28-year-old currently plays for URC rivals Scarlets, where he came through the academy and represented Wales at under-16s and under-18s levels. He spent the 2015-16 season on a ‘partnership deal’ with Glasgow Warriors and Ayr, for whom he appeared regularly in the Scottish Premiership, before returning to Scarlets and making 65 appearances for the region to date, coming off the bench during last Saturday’s 42-12 demolition of Edinburgh.
Sebastian qualifies to play for Scotland through his Edinburgh born and raised father, and received his first call-up by Gregor Townsend in the summer of 2021, although Covid meant he did not get a chance to wear the thistle until that November’s Test series when he made his debut off the bench versus Japan.
He appeared off the bench again during the first and second Tests against Argentina last summer, but has not added to his cap tally since then, although he was named in Scotland’s extended training squad for the current Six Nations campaign.
Edinburgh currently have six tight-head props in the senior squad. Luan de Bruin has another year to run on his current deal. It is not clear what the contract statuses beyond the end of this season are for 36-year-old WP Nel, Lee-Roy Atalifo and Angus Williams. Meanwhile, Murray McCallum is moving to Newcastle Falcons at the end of the season, and Elliot Millar-Mills is on a short-term deal as international and injury cover during this Six Nations window.
Dan Gamble is still in the academy but you’d hope that he is soon able to progress into the senior squad and add to his three appearances so far.
“Leaving Scarlets certainly wasn’t an easy decision and I’ve got a huge debt of gratitude to the club,” said Sebastian. “They are my home region and gave me my first opportunity to play professionally.
“However, this move to Edinburgh is massively exciting and it’s an opportunity that I genuinely can’t wait to get stuck into. The club is really ambitious with a talented squad and cracking new stadium, and Edinburgh is a beautiful city.
“This is a fresh challenge for me and one that really excites me because of my aspirations to continue playing international rugby. Hopefully I can keep myself in a strong position with Scotland by playing consistently for Edinburgh.
“I obviously know quite a lot of the Edinburgh boys from Scotland camp. I can’t wait to link up with the squad this summer and hit the ground running.”
Sebastian is leaving the Welsh rugby scene at a time of unprecedented upheaval, with the national team threatening strike action on Saturday when they are due to host England in the Six Nations over a series concerns related to a new funding model for the nation’s four regions – Cardiff, Ospreys, Scarlets and Dragons – which has left about 90 players unsure of whether they will have a contract next season.
“Javan is a player that we’ve been able to track for some time and we’ve been hugely impressed with his performances for both Scarlets and Scotland,” said Edinburgh head coach Mike Blair.
“He’s an excellent scrummager which we want to develop into his super strength and he has the skill set to thrive in our environment.
“We know the Scotland coaches and staff are impressed with his work on the tighthead side and what he brings to the position. He’s also a great guy who will fit in well with our culture here at Edinburgh.
“We’re really excited to welcome Javan to the club this summer.”