Scarlets sign Exeter Chiefs prop Alec Hepburn

Rob LloydNews

Scotland international prop and European Champions Cup winner Alec Hepburn is to join the Scarlets from Exeter Chiefs ahead of the 2024-25 season.

The 31-year-old loose-head has been an integral part of the Chiefs success story at Sandy Park, being a member of the squad that reached six successive Premiership finals and toasted European success in 2020.

Born in Australia, Hepburn represented England at U20s level and joined the Chiefs in 2014 from London Welsh. 

His impressive performances in the West Country saw him capped for the Red Rose at senior level in 2018 and he went on to win six England caps, which included a substitute appearance against Wales at Twickenham. 

Hepburn has made 179 appearances for the Chiefs and in January was called up to Gregor Townsend’s Scotland Six Nations squad, qualifying through his Glasgow-born father. He came off the bench in the thrilling victory over Wales in Cardiff.

Hepburn will add invaluable experience to a talented young pool of front-row forwards at Parc y Scarlets.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel said: “We are delighted to sign a player with the reputation of Alec, who has been a big part of Exeter’s success story in recent years.

“He is an international forward who brings a huge amount of experience at club level and someone who will strengthen our front-row resources and help develop an exciting young group of Welsh prop forwards coming through at the club.

“He has a reputation as a strong scrummager and dynamic carrier and we feel he will fit in well with the way we are looking to play the game.”

Looking forward to his move to West Wales, Hepburn said: “After nearly 10 years playing at Exeter Chiefs, I feel the time has come for a new challenge.  

“Signing for the Scarlets is an exciting opportunity to try and prove myself in a different league, against different teams and players alike. 

“I look forward for what’s to come, meeting the players and coaches and working in a new environment for the upcoming season in the URC.”

Hepburn becomes the Scarlets’ second signing to be announced ahead of the 2024-25 campaign. Toyota Cheetahs hooker Marnus van der Merwe is also heading to West Wales, while the club have also seen star second row Sam Lousi, Wales internationals Tom Rogers and Harri O’Connor and back-rowers Dan Davis and Ben Williams sign new deals.

Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Alec Hepburn

Position: Loose-head prop

Clubs: London Welsh, Exeter Chiefs

Age: 31

Height: 185cm

Weight: 114kg

International: England U20s, England, Scotland