Saints lock young gun into new deal

Jack Billings of the Saints during the round 13 match against the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne.
Jack Billings of the Saints during the round 13 match against the Kangaroos at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne. JULIAN SMITH

ST Kilda young gun Jack Billings has committed his immediate future to the Saints, signing with the club until the end of 2019.

The 21-year-old's signature comes days after the Saints copped a tough blow to their finals prospects at the hands of Melbourne.

Billings played out the game against Melbourne with a black eye, finishing his day with 30 disposals and nine marks.

Since being taken at pick three in the 2013 AFL Draft, Billings has played 62 AFL games and has improved year-on-year to establish himself as one of St Kilda's brightest prospects.

"I'm very happy at St Kilda. We have a great group coming through who are really united and determined to take the next step," Billings said in a club statement.

"Both personally and collectively, I know we have a lot of improvement left in us, and I'm excited about what we can achieve together."

Billings has enjoyed a career-best year in 2017, predominantly playing across half forward, averaging 22.8 disposals, 5.5 marks, 3.1 tackles, 7.5 score involvements, four inside-50s and a goal a game.

That included a standout performance against Carlton in round eight, when he booted five goals and recorded 30 disposals and six inside-50s.

While the 21-year-old has been inaccurate in front of goal this season, booting 20.32, his strong marking ability and smarts with the ball make him a dangerous prospect.

St Kilda chief operating officer Ameet Bains said Billings was an important player for the Saints going forward.

"Jack has emphatically demonstrated his ability to impact matches this season and that's a reflection of how hard he continues to work away from match day," Bains said in a club statement.

"He is a popular member of our playing group and someone we know will drive standards within the club over the coming seasons.

"While he clearly has enormous talent, we expect him to continue to push himself to improve over the next two years which is really exciting."

Topics:  st kilda saints

News Corp Australia

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