MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - AUGUST 22: Nathan Vardy of Geelong competes for the ball with Jason Holmes of the Saints during the round 21 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Geelong Cats at Etihad Stadium on August 22, 2015 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

American-born St Kilda ruckman Jason Holmes has signed a one-year contract extension and will be upgraded to the senior list for 2017.

Holmes played two games for the Saints towards the back end of the 2016 season, bringing his tally up to five AFL games following his three in 2015.

The 27-year-old was recruited with pick 36 in the 2014 Rookie Draft and Holmes became the first born and raised American to play AFL when he made his debut in Round 21, 2015.

He was elevated to the senior list in round nine this season, but this permanent upgrade shows just how far Holmes has come since joining the club.

Saints Chief Operating Officer Ameet Bains said St Kilda were thrilled to have Holmes sign on for 2017 and had high praise for the Illinois-born big man.

“We’re thrilled to have Jason commit to the club for another year as we think he’s made great strides in his development over his three seasons at the Saints,” Bains said.

“Jason is a rapid learner and strong competitor, and is a valuable part of our talented ruck team.”