Glasgow v Edinburgh countdown: Javan Sebastian injury could create a Six Nations headache

Tight-head prop has been ruled out for six to eight weeks leaving Scotland desperately short of options in key position

Edinburgh and Scotland tight-head prop Javan Sebastian has been sideline for six to eight weeks with a knee injury. Image: © Craig Watson -
Edinburgh and Scotland tight-head prop Javan Sebastian has been sideline for six to eight weeks with a knee injury. Image: © Craig Watson -

EDINBURGH tight-head prop Javan Sebastian has been sidelined for six to eight weeks with a knee injury (meaning he is likely to miss the start of the Six Nations).

Tight-head prop is a position where Scotland lacks depth, especially after the retirement of Simon Berghan last summer.

With Sebastian, who was the third No 3 at the recent World Cup, now a major doubt, and Murphy Walker already out for “a couple of months” after undergoing surgery on his knee last week, it is not clear who will provide back-up to Zander Fagerson and 37-year-old WP Nel during the upcoming Six Nations.

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D’Arcy Rae, capped once by Scotland off the bench against Ireland during the 2019 Six Nations, joined Edinburgh on a year-long deal in October and made his debut for the club last weekend.  Glasgow Warriors reprised the Oli Kebble as a tight-head experiment against Bayonne last weekend.

Beyond that, New Zealander Angus Williams, who qualifies for Scotland through his Edinburgh-born mother, and who has played 24 games for the capital side with eight starts during the last four years, is the only other eligible tight-head currently on a senior contract with either of the county’s two pro team – which highlights the absurdity of the SRU’s recent claim that spending money on pro player wages is a strategic investment rather than a standard cost.

As an outside bet, 33-year-old Steven Longwell, the globetrotting former Ayr tight-head, made his Bristol Bears debut off the bench during last weekend’s Champions Cup defeat away to Bordeaux-Begles.

Meanwhile, on the plus side for Edinburgh, they could be boosted by the return of Argentinean international Emiliano Boffelli for Friday night’s 1872 Cup clash against Glasgow Warriors.

“He [Boffelli] has a chance for Friday and it is great to see him back training,” said Edinburgh ‘senior’ coach Sean Everitt. “He had a full week of training last week and his return comes at the right time with the concussion or Harry Paterson so he will be up for selection in the match 23 this weekend.

“He is a great guy and is very popular in the group, very knowledgeable and experienced. He played in the World Cup semi final not that long ago so we are very fortunate to have the services of a quality player like that. He also brings a wealth of experience to the team and a calmness and composure in the back field. With the absence of Blair [Kinghorn], Boff is the guy we will look to do the job for us.”

Everitt also confirmed that Ben Healy will continue as No 1 goal kicker after Boffelli’s return.

“Javan has a knee injury and will be out for six to eight weeks,” added Everitt. “WP is up for selection [this week]. We kept him back last week and the URC is an important competition and we are playing our rivals.

“Our injury list is better than it was in November and selection is tougher and that is what you want as a coach. Sam Skinner is a great player , an international, so we have missed him but the guy who replaced him Jamie Hodgson, who unfortunately got injured [out until mid January with an ankle issue] and Marshall Sykes, got their opportunity. Sam should be up for selection for the derby next week depending how he comes through on Thursday.

Jim Mallinder to leave Scottish Rugby Performance Director role


About David Barnes 4030 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. D’Arcy Rae with two seasons in the premiership then some games in the top 14 must be the obvious choice. Although not as visible a prop as say a Fagersonb he does all the basics of his role very well and his defence on his first appearance for Edinburgh was impressive. However it is GT so it will not be the obvious lol.

  2. Not sure what happened to an earlier post but given the dire situation at TH, Murray McCallum at Falcons possibly? Often fills a bench spot for a team struggling in the English Prem but given that nothing has been done to develop players in younger age grades or grass roots generally, these are the kind of options we need to look at.

  3. We are always one injury away from a crisis in the front row and nothing has changed in that respect for years now. Perhaps we should hire a performance director.

  4. Will Hurd of Leicester could be an outside bet? He seems to be a regular in their match day squads.

  5. Oh dear – one detects yet more “strategic investment” shortly to be flushed down the drain!

    Can any of these highly-remunerated talking heads up at EH12 see beyond their own trough-swilling snouts?

  6. Seems to hold down mainly a bench spot for the Falcons but given the cupboard really is bare, perhaps Murray McCallum as an outside option for 6N? The powers that be have surely realised this is the one position that urgently needs a solution – we seem to consider national squad depth for all other positions except prop, especially TH. I get it, if there aren’t any players playing TH right now you can’t magic one up but this has been an issue for ages. Go into the clubs, the amateur game and see what talent there is that can be nurtured. The ploy of keeping fingers crossed that will provide a solution just doesn’t hold up. Grass roots development – will SRU please just get the message!!


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