Ricardo Simich brings you the inside scoop from the local social scene and beyond.

Spy: Top five sporting couples of 2016

Shaun Johnson and Kayla Cullen. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Shaun Johnson and Kayla Cullen. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

Last Sunday, former Black Sticks' star Honor Carter tweeted a shadowy picture of herself from the Paris home she shares with husband Dan and their two sons, with the words: "I refuse to be a shadow to my husband's life."

The tweet got everyone talking. What could the mum of boys Marco and Fox be about to announce? The next day Carter posted a picture of a very fancy birthday cake for Marco's third birthday. Cake decorator, maybe? Perhaps a truffle exporter?

Many think a role within Louis Vuitton or adidas in Paris might be a possibility. The Carters have close links to both brands. Whatever the true meaning of the tweet, Honor has everyone in suspense.

With New Zealand's former golden sporting couple now ensconced in their Parisian life, we thought it a good time to name our top five local sporting couples of 2016.

1. The husband and wife to be

There is no chance of anyone overtaking former All Black captain Richie McCaw, 35, and Rio Olympics' gold medal hopeful Gemma Flynn, 25, in the near future.

All eyes have been on them since their engagement was announced in January.

McCaw has said he will enjoy supporting his fiancee from the sidelines at Rio but that hasn't stopped Captain Fantastic filming a commercial for Westpac, signing on as a friend of Mercedes and training for the GODZone Adventure race that started yesterday in the South Island's Tasman region. The great thing about the race is he and Flynn have kept each other company in training on fitness trails in preparation for their goals.

Gemma Flynn and Richie McCaw.
Gemma Flynn and Richie McCaw.

2. The new celebrity sporting couple

Warriors hunk Shaun Johnson, 25, and Silver Fern beauty Kayla Cullen, 24, are the couple of the moment. After months of speculation, the sporting stars confirmed they were an item earlier this year.

They are yet to do a magazine deal together. Instead, this week Cullen did a shoot on her own for a women's mag and the humble defender credited Johnson's Instagram account for her rise in followers. They both love fashion and also love a bit of adventure. So far, they have packed in a lot of high-action activities together, from flying high in trees to flying high above the water on a recent trip to Queenstown.

After a win for the Warriors last weekend, Johnson posted a loved-up selfie with Cullen, simply saying: "Smiles with her".

Shaun Johnson and Kayla Cullen.
Shaun Johnson and Kayla Cullen.

3. Not quite ready to pose for the media

Spy's favourite glamazonian, Silver Fern Maria Tutaia, 29, is not ready to talk about her relationship with her boyfriend, Waratahs star player Israel Folau, 26.

Last month at Auckland Cup Day at Ellerslie, it was near-impossible for media to photograph them together. Instead, Folau took the honours by posting his own picture to Instagram later in the day.

We like how Tutaia does things on her own terms and we love the fact she has found a man she can look up to.

Israel Folau and Maria Tutaia.
Israel Folau and Maria Tutaia.

4. The newlyweds

Black Stick and Rio Olympics' gold medal hopeful Anita Punt, 28, married Commonwealth Games decathlete Scott McLaren, 34, last month in a Black Stick-filled ceremony at the bride's family farm in Nelson. Punt looked stunning in an Yvonne Bennetti gown.

The couple don't do selfies on their social media accounts but Punt has taken over holding the champagne glass from Honor Carter. Carter was once the guest of honour for Moet & Chandon but this year Punt appeared for that firm's other star champagne, Veuve Clicquot, in its marquee at the Land Rover Polo in February.

Like teammate Gemma Flynn, Punt enjoys having a partner who can help keep up her fitness.

Anita Punt and Scott McLaren. Photo / Norrie Montgomery
Anita Punt and Scott McLaren. Photo / Norrie Montgomery

5. The exception

Black Cap Martin Guptill, 28, is married to sports journalist Laura McGoldrick, 26.

The couple had their wedding reception at the cliff-top mansion of New Zealand's wealthiest man, Graeme Hart, in 2014. They have cemented their place as a sporting couple with McGoldrick's memorable interviews on the side-line with her husband after Black Cap games.

McGoldrick is also host of ANZ Golf World with Mark Leishman. Guptill showed his support for yet another hat worn by his wife when McGoldrick filmed Spy's Fashion Police Oscar Special last month. Guptill came to watch his beautiful wife shine.

Martin Guptill and Laura McGoldrick.
Martin Guptill and Laura McGoldrick.

- Spy.co.nz

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