MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 30: Tom Hickey of the Saints and Max Gawn of the Demons compete for the ball during the round six AFL match between the Melbourne Demons and the St Kilda Saints at Etihad Stadium on April 30, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

St Kilda ruckman Tom Hickey has re-signed with the club, ending speculation he could return to his home state of Queensland.

The Saints big man re-signed for a further two seasons.

The 25-year-old is coming off a career best season, after he averaged 13.2 disposals and 28.7 hitouts, as he played all bar two of the Saints’ games in 2016.

“We’re a young group and we’re on the improve. I love this club and want to stay here and help us get success,” Hickey told the club’s website

“I’ve been here since we were at the bottom and I’m loving the rise that we’re having and hopefully it can continue.

“Mum wanted me to come home pretty bad, but I’m pretty well settled down here. I’ve got my girlfriend down here and I’ve been down here for five years now and have a really good group of mates.”

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Hickey has played a total of 49 games for St Kilda, after moving from the Gold Coast Suns, where he played 12 games in two seasons.

The 201cm ruckman was a Queensland-zone academy selection in the 2010 National Draft but failed to make an impact at the club, as he found himself behind the likes of ruckmen Zac Smith and Josh Fraser in his first two seasons at AFL level.

He was in and out of the side during his first three seasons at the Saints and earned his spot in the best 22 last season.

Meanwhile, Luke Dunstan, 22, has also penned a two-year extension.

MELBOURNE, VICTORIA – JUNE 12: Luke Dunstan of the Saints is tackled by Matthew Wright of the Blues during the round 12 AFL match between the St Kilda Saints and the Carlton Blues at Etihad Stadium on June 12, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Scott Barbour/AFL Media/Getty Images)

“It’s been going really well. I did a similar off-season running program to what Tim Membrey did last year and I feel like I’ve got a really good base under myself now,” Dunston said.

“(Endurance) is probably the one side of my game that needs the most improvement.

“I’ve just been chipping away at it year after year and I’m slowly getting there. I feel like I made some really good inroads this pre-season.”