The Herald peers into a crystal ball and nominate seven athletes who will be captivating viewing in 2017.

Jordie Barrett

If New Zealand rugby took a leaf out of the NBA and had a draft, Jordie Barrett would be the No 1 pick for 2017. Barrett Jnr has shown mouthwatering glimpses at a lower level showing he may have even better poise, timing and flair than his World Rugby Player of the Year brother. It's hard to remember a similar Super Rugby tug of war for the services of a young player, with the Hurricanes winning out to bolster their champion backline. Coming off OE with the All Blacks, a leap into the big time is a real possibility.

Steven Adams

Steven Adams won't win his first NBA title this season; But it's next season, when the Kiwi's new contract kicks in, that will make Adams' 2017 one to watch. The Oklahoma City centre will soon be a US$100 million player - and he will be under pressure to perform. The signs are promising, with Adams enjoying the best offensive campaign of his four-year career in the NBA. His relationship with MVP candidate Russell Westbrook is flourishing and for the first time Adams is averaging double-digits in scoring..


Eliza McCartney

In a year without an Olympics or Commonwealth Games, all eyes in the athletics world will be on London in August, and the world championships. Kiwi interest, though, will be fixed on the inside of the track, where young duo Eliza McCartney and Tom Walsh will be attempting to build on a Rio bronze medal. McCartney will likely once more capture the country's attention, having fallen narrowly short of a shocking gold in her Olympic debut before endearing herself to Kiwi fans with her ebullient personality.

Kieran Foran

It seems harsh to heap more pressure on Kieran Foran's shoulders , given what he has been through over the past 12 months, but he could hold the destiny of club and country in his hands. If Foran can overcome his mental demons, and rediscover his best form, he will be a vital piece of the enduring Warriors puzzle. In a World Cup year, he's also crucial to New Zealand's chances. The Kiwis have been unable to beat the Kangaroos without him - after three successive transtasman victories with Foran at five eight h..

Lydia Ko

She won a major, claimed an Olympic medal and remained world golf No 1, but Lydia Ko's 2016 ended with an unusual number of questions. Will her split from coach David Leadbetter prove the correct move? Do her parents still hold too much sway in Ko's career? And can the Kiwi improve on what was perceived by some observers as a down year? That perception came after Ko failed to scoop any of the major LPGA Tour awards, It was still an outstanding year for a teenager but that's the nature of life at the top.

24 Oct, 2016 10:30am
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Mitchell Santner

Vignettes of Mitchell Santner's talent have emerged in the last 18 months of his 11-test, 25-ODI and 10-T20I international career. With such a solid grounding, expect this to be the year the 24-year-old's left-arm orthodox spin and crisp stroke-making make exponential steps towards winning games for the national side in all three formats. Doing so would certainly see Santner ensconce himself in the all-rounder role for the Black Caps, fulfilling his potential as Daniel Vettori's long-term successor.

Laura Langman

With the transtasman competition divorced and both New Zealand and Australia forging ahead with their own competitions, it's fair to say the most intriguing Kiwi netballer will be plying her trade on the other side of the Ditch. Laura Langman will be a trail-blazer in the Australian league and her success - or lack thereof - will surely influence whether others follow the midcourter's footsteps. Other top Silver Ferns could face a difficult choice of whether to temporarily eschew the black dress for a better day job.