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From butcher to bruiser … Javan Sebastian living Rugby World Cup dream

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Scotland tight-head prop Javan Sebastian said on Friday making his first start in the Rugby World Cup against Romania this weekend was “surreal” after having trained as a butcher.

A decade ago the 29-year-old turned away from professional rugby to join semi-professional club Carmarthen Quins in west Wales, where he was born and work in the meat industry.

On Saturday in Lille, Sebastian will play just his seventh Test for his father’s country of birth.

“I worked in the butcher’s for about two months. I couldn’t hack it any longer than that. It was dark, not a nice place,” Sebastian told reporters.

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Second chance

“I thought my professional rugby career was pretty much over, so I took a year out to reflect and get back to normal life.

“It made me open my eyes to what I could potentially do. Being a butcher or any other normal job is quite tough.

“I’m not saying that being a rugby player isn’t tough, but the real world is scary,” the former Wales under-18s font-rower added.

Sebastian will join Edinburgh after the World Cup, the city where his father was raised.

“Playing at Edinburgh next season, it’ll be good for him to develop alongside his international team-mates,” Scotland scrum coach Pieter de Villiers said.

“It’ll be good to have him closer to home and to see him grow.

“In terms of the set-piece, I think he’s one of the best scrummaging tightheads out there.

“You can ask any front-row player, they’ll always back Javan to pack down in a scrum,” he added.

Scotland are expected to beat Romania comfortably to keep their hopes of a quarter-final place alive.

The Oaks have conceded more than 150 points in their opening Pool B games, defeats to world number one side Ireland and Webb Ellis trophy holders South Africa.

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‘Pool of Death’

“We know we are in the pool of death,” said Romania head coach Eugen Apjok.

“It’s a big challenge for the team and I hope we take something from the first two games.

“It wasn’t what we were looking for but I hope the players will learn a lot of things.

“Any mistakes will cost us at this level,” the former international flyhalf added.

AFP

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