Sebastian has left the butcher shop and is ready to grab his opportunity in Scotland

Javan Sebastian of Scotland left rugby to become a butcher, but it was a short-lived career change and he came full circle to earn his first Rugby World Cup opportunity in Saturday’s game against Romania in Lille.

Sebastian’s rugby career has been unconventional, but at 29 he is at the peak of his abilities and hopes to help the Scots clinch a win that keeps their quarter-final hopes alive.

Born in Wales, Sebastian earned a chance to represent the Scotland national team through his father and was as surprised as anyone else to start on Saturday.

“I was quite surprised to be selected for the World Cup. It’s a great achievement to be selected for any team, so to be a starter is quite surreal,” he told reporters on Friday.

Sebastian played for Wales’ Scarlets before moving to Glasgow Warriors, where he was released after a year and decided to pursue a career outside of professional rugby in 2016.

“It was a dark period,” he said: “After leaving Glasgow, when I had signed with them for a year, I came home to have my firstborn. I took a year off from rugby and, as I had no job, I applied to be a butcher and a semi-professional player. I was there about two months, but I couldn’t take it any longer than that. I thought normal life wasn’t for me, let’s try to play rugby again. It made me open my eyes to what I could do. Being a butcher, or any normal job, is pretty hard. I’m not saying rugby isn’t tough, but the real world is scary.”

He returned to the Scarlets and resumed his career, winning his first cap for Scotland in 2021 and a move to Edinburgh ahead of the 2023-24 season.

“I have four children, so I fought for a place (in the Scotland team) just for them and my partner, to try and make them proud. You have to face the situation week by week. Train as much as possible in each training session and hope that this will be enough when the weekend comes for the national team,” he concluded.