ST KILDA has signed former Carlton defender Sam Rowe under SSP rules.

The club's move for Rowe comes after backman Dylan Roberton announced on Friday that he would step aside from footy in 2019 due to heart irregularities.

TAKING A BREAK Roberton to sit out the season

Rowe, 31, played a total of 99 games for Carlton but was delisted at the end of last year.

He had been planning to play with Eastern Football League club Doncaster East in 2019.

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Rowe had drawn interest from St Kilda earlier in the summer, though it appeared his chances of earning a place on its list had dwindled on Thursday when the Saints filled the final vacancy on their list by signing former Collingwood backman Jonathan Marsh.

However, Roberton's unfortunate decision to sit out the 2019 season opened another list availability, which St Kilda looks set to swiftly fill through the 199cm ex-Blues defender.

"It was important for Dylan to have the time to make a decision that was right for he and his family," general manager of football Simon Lethlean said.

"Once we were aware that he would be missing the season and moving onto the long-term injury list, we decided to bring Sam in.

"The reality of football is that we need to utilise the AFL rules to best prepare our list for the rigours and requirements of the competition, and Sam provides an important element heading into the season.

"He's an experienced defender, who can also play forward if need be and pinch-hit in the ruck.

"He is also a quality person who knows what is required at the elite level."

Rowe played 17 games last season, which was the last of his six-year stint with the Blues.