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McKernan signs with Saints, back-up talls in demand

The annual rucking merry-go-round looks set to accelerate as clubs positioned themselves to secure back-up talls during the trade period, with the Saints signing former Essendon ruck-forward Shaun McKernan as a delisted free agent on the final day of free agency.

McKernan, who has played 87 games since his debut in 2009, has joined the Saints to lend support in both the ruck and inside 50 as the club look to give key forward Max King and young ruckman Rowan Marshall the chance to develop properly.

The Bombers may also lose their back-up ruckman Andrew Phillips to Melbourne, with the Demons meeting the 29-year-old as they search for a potential back up to Max Gawn who could step in if the star ruckman was injured.

Shaun McKernan has signed with St Kilda.

Shaun McKernan has signed with St Kilda. Credit:Getty Images

Phillips is yet to receive a contract offer from the Bombers, as they wait for certainty around list sizes and total player payments, and is open to another move after playing 46 games at the Giants, Carlton and Essendon since making his debut in 2012, with the Demons set to trade Braydon Preuss to the Giants.

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