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EXCLUSIVE: Saint has medical with Eagles

Is a premiership Tiger on the move? Mitch Cleary and Nick Bowen with the latest on the Trade Desk
Tom Hickey has had a medical with the Eagles - AFL,St Kilda Saints,Tom Hickey,West Coast Eagles,Contracts,Trade
Tom Hickey has had a medical with the Eagles

WEST Coast's plans for the expected departure of Scott Lycett have intensified, putting contracted St Kilda ruckman Tom Hickey through a medical screening.

AFL.com.au understands Hickey, who is being courted by the Eagles with a multi-year offer, was tested prior to the Saints' best and fairest count and leaving for end-of-season holidays. 

The Saints were made aware of the Eagles' intentions and are believed to be open to Hickey exploring his options.

With Lycett destined to request a move to Port Adelaide and injured No.1 big man Nic Naitanui to miss 2019, the Eagles are preparing to bring in reinforcements.  

Having already met with Western Bulldogs free agent Jordan Roughead, Hickey's acquisition would provide a boost to a club that consistently plays duel ruckmen.

With Naitanui to return in 2020 as a 30-year-old, he is seen to be a ruckman capable of playing no more than 60 per cent time on ground.  

Following Naitanui's season-ending ACL in round 17, Nathan Vardy has played seven consecutive matches with Lycett and will line up in Saturday's preliminary final against Melbourne.

Hickey remains contracted at Moorabbin until the end of 2019, however is believed to be open to a move to a third club, having started his career at Gold Coast.

A move for the 27-year-old across the Nullarbor would need to involve a trade, with the Eagles holding two second-round picks that could appeal to the Saints.  

Including their existing second-round pick, the Eagles collected Gold Coast's second-round selection (currently No.20) as part of a swap that saw them lose their 2018 first-round pick last year.

Hickey re-signed on a healthy two-year extension ahead of the 2017 season, having played 20 matches in 2016 as the Saints narrowly missed finals.

Playing the first four matches of the 2017 season, the Queenslander then lost his spot to Billy Longer, only managing one more senior game for the year.

Hickey played the first game in the VFL in 2018 before stringing nine consecutive games together in Alan Richardson's side, only to be dropped after round 12.  

Playing four more matches from rounds 17-20, Hickey sustained a hamstring injury, ruling him out for the rest of the season.  

Lycett's pending departure is set to trigger a wave of action in ruckmen across the competition.

With Roughead and Hickey in discussions with the Eagles, a Hickey move will leave the Saints needing support for uncontracted pair Billy Longer and Lewis Pierce.

Fremantle is targeting Greater Western Sydney big man Rory Lobb, a potential move leaving the Giants thin in a ruck division that would be left to Dawson Simpson.

Other contracted ruckmen seen as 'gettable' across the competition include Zac Smith (Geelong), Tom Nicholls (Gold Coast) and Braydon Preuss (North Melbourne).

Agent Paul Connors confirmed at the launch of NAB AFL Trade Radio on Wednesday his client Stefan Martin would be a "lock" to remain at Brisbane to see out his 2019 contract.  

Other ruckmen without deals for 2019 include Matthew Leuenberger (Essendon), Tom Campbell (Western Bulldogs) and Ivan Soldo (Richmond).