Saints sign ex-Cat Abbott for ruck depth

Ryan Abbott (r) has been snapped up by St Kilda to boost their ruck depth for the 2020 AFL season.
Ryan Abbott (r) has been snapped up by St Kilda to boost their ruck depth for the 2020 AFL season.

St Kilda have bolstered their ruck division by signing former Geelong ruckman Ryan Abbott as an AFL delisted free agent - before the Cats had a chance to re-draft him themselves.

The Cats delisted Abbott last month but had promised to re-draft him as a rookie if he was still available.

But by delisting him, Geelong opened the door for another team to swoop on the 28-year-old before the AFL and rookie drafts, and St Kilda pounced on Friday.

Abbott, who played five games for Geelong, provides additional depth as a ruck-forward behind fellow recruit Paddy Ryder and ruck revelation Rowan Marshall.

"With Rowan and Paddy we believe the ruck position will be a real strength in 2020, but it is an area we have been looking to add depth to," Saints list manager James Gallagher said.

"Signing Ryan provides great cover and bolsters our overall list.

"While he has had limited opportunities at Geelong, he shown that he is more than capable at AFL level both in the ruck and as a marking option up forward.

"He is a strong character and we are really looking forward to Ryan joining the club immediately."

Abbott, a former basketballer, was drafted at pick 69 in the 2016 AFL draft and spent three years on Geelong's list.

This year he managed just one AFL game but played 16 games for Geelong's VFL side, averaging 28 hit-outs and 15 disposals.

Australian Associated Press