Raised in Wales, Javan Sebastian grew up in one of the most passionate rugby countries in the world but he’s enjoying life in less intense surroundings in Edinburgh. 

The Welsh national team have punched above their weight for decades with more Grand Slam titles than England and Ireland since the formation of the Six Nations. Rugby stars are likely to be recognised walking down the street in Wales but it’s slightly different in Scotland, where football remains comfortably the biggest sport.

Sebastian qualifies for Scotland through his father Eddie, who was born and raised in Edinburgh, and he’s settled nicely in Tranent since joining from the Scarlets this summer. 

“I’m loving it,” Sebastian admitted. “Edinburgh is a good club and a good group of guys so it has been easy to settle in. “It is massive coming up here from a small town in Wales to a big city, Edinburgh. I lived in Caernarfon. Twenty-five minutes outside Llanelli.  

“Wales is known for being rugby-obsessed. All during juniors, right down to the age of 3,4 so you do it all through the years. There is no such thing as football or any other sport. 

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“He moved up here when I was really young so I haven’t been up here much as my mum and dad split up when I was younger. Previously, I was here in 2016 when I was with Glasgow was the only time I would come up to Scotland. 

“I had not seen much of Edinburgh so it is good to get up here, see around, and see what a nice place it is. I can go down the street with my family without somebody asking about rugby or trying to talk to me about rugby.”

Sebastian linked up with his new teammates after returning from a disappointing World Cup with Scotland. The 29-year-old only featured in the rout against Romania as Gregor Townsend’s men failed to progress from a tough pool featuring Ireland and eventual winners South Africa. 

While it was a frustrating tournament for Scotland, Sebastian enjoyed the experience and it’s made the group hungry to show their true level in the next Six Nations campaign. 

“It was a tough campaign.” Sebastian conceded. “We did not get what we wanted to do which was disappointing but individually I thought I put my hand each week for selection and started pushing the boys each week in training. On a personal level, it was enjoyable and I took a lot from it. 

“It was always going to be a tough challenge. We were in one of the toughest pools with South Africa who have won it. We lost to them and then Ireland who could have potentially won it so you have to give credit to the group we were in because it was always going to be tough but we just fell short and didn’t leave our whole self out there. 

“The boys are trying to put it behind them pretty quickly and transition into club rugby and get things going for the Six Nations. Coming back here I want to train well, play well and put my hand up for Six Nations selection.” 

Sebastian’s minutes were limited in France but the intense training regime has left several Scotland players returning in the best shape of their career. 

Luke Crosbie shared that belief last week and Sebastian agrees with his Edinburgh teammate’s assertion.

“Oh yeah, definitely,” Sebastian replied when asked if he’d returned in peak condition. “We did a lot of running, especially not playing and in that heat we did a lot of running and contact work. That will definitely transfer onto the pitch.” 

Edinburgh have enjoyed an excellent start to their URC campaign under new head coach Sean Everitt. They overcame a 14-point to record their first away win in a year in the competition against the Dragons before they backed that up with an impressive victory over the Lions. 

They face another tough away trip to Leinster on Saturday - where Glasgow were defeated last weekend - but Sebastian insists confidence is high after as they aim to preserve their 100% start. 

“It has been a tough two games,” Sebastian admitted. “Away at Rodney Parade is tough as Dragons are a team to stick in it but we stuck in too and got the win there. The week just now against the Lions we hadn’t beaten them in two seasons so it was good to get another win there and that puts us in good stead for Leinster. 

“They are going to be a physical side up front. This is the best time to play them, now, early in the season, when just after the World Cup, probably some of their World Cup players won’t be involved. We will go over there with confidence and try and impose ourselves on them and try and get a win. 

“That would put a marker down for the rest of the season. Going out there to get the win is the main challenge and we want to take them on physically and see where we are as a team.”