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opinion

Ko makes right choice for fans

PULLING POWER: Lydia Ko will headline the New Zealand Open next year.

OPINION: Lydia Ko continues to do right by New Zealand sports fans by choosing to play the 2015 NZ Open.

A classic underdog tale video

OPINION: Kiwi semi-pro side's run at the Fifa Club World Cup generates the feel-good story of 2014.

Big Bash does T20 in style

Metro move a massive gamble

rugby

Wilson gets contract extension

REWARDED: Former Southland rugby player James Wilson has extended his contract with the Northampton Saints.

Former Southland utility back continues to impress in England, earning another contract extension from Northampton Saints.

O'Driscoll backs Carter for ABs

Irish great believes Dan Carter is key to the All Blacks defending the World Cup in England next year.

BIG PLANS: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is reportedly close to signing an expert scrum coach in the hope of solving Australia's set-piece woes ahead of the World Cup.

Aussies to recruit scrum guru

The Wallabies are set to appoint a scrum guru to help solve their long-standing woes at set-piece time.

football

Hammers' Reid ready for EPL test

REAL TEST: All Whites skipper Winston Reid, right, and his West Ham teammates have a tough schedule ahead of them with clashes against EPL heavyweights Chelsea and Arsenal during the holiday period.

All Whites skipper Winston Reid keen to show EPL heavyweights what he's capable of.

Mario is not so super

Mario Balotelli is back for Liverpool but manager Brendan Rodgers doesn't appear to be a fan.

GRAHAM ARNOLD: "I'm asking Santa up there to bring me a couple of nice presents and hopefully he'll bring three points for us on Boxing Day."

Sydney asks for Santa's help

Team slumping on the ladder desperate to snap three-game winless streak against high-flyers Adelaide.

cricket

NZ are keen to keep building

LEADING THE WAY: Black Caps captain Brendon McCullum fronts the media on Christmas Day ahead of today's test match.

Confident Black Caps look to carry on where they left off in the UAE against Sri Lanka in the Boxing Day test.

'Lee's legacy' set for show

Years after first raising the prospect of bringing test cricket to Hagley Oval, Lee Germon has delivered.

IN FORM: Black Caps batsman Kane Williamson has scored 844 runs at 60.29 in eight tests for New Zealand this year.

Kane is more than able

Despite superb year with the willow, NZ batsman would rather talk about anything other than his own form.

league

Former Warrior signs for Bradford

BACK TO ENGLAND: Former Warriors enforcer Epalahame Lauaki has inked a two-year deal with the Bradford Bulls.

Bradford have signed former Warriors front-rower Epalahame Lauaki on a two-year contract.

Guerra sticking with Roosters

Kangaroos and Queensland back-rower agrees to a three-year contract extension.

IN FORM: Lewis Brown had a fine Four Nations tournament with the Kiwis.

Brown open to Warriors return

Lewis Brown would consider a return to New Zealand when his NRL contract with Penrith expires.

basketball

Breakers not feeling charitable

BOUNCING BACK: Breakers skipper Mika Vukona says the team has put last Sunday night's shocker behind them.

NZ franchise have a chance to atone for last Sunday's loss to the Taipans when they take the Kings tonight.

LeBron's son shows skills video

Proud father posts footage on YouTube after 10-year-old son dominates youth tournament in Houston.

Turning back the clock: Dandenong’s Penny Taylor drives forward against the Flames.

Taranaki add some fresh air

Mountain Airs add shooting guard and small forward for next year's National Basketball League campaign.

golf

Steve Stricker has back surgery

BOUNCING BACK: American golfer Steve Stricker has had surgery on his lower back.

Steve Stricker, a 12-time winner on the PGA Tour, has undergone back surgery.

Scott hires new caddie

Australia golfer finds a replacement for the semi-retired New Zealand caddie Steve Williams.

Big deal: Lydia Ko has been described as the next star capable of transcending golf.

NZ Golf: No pressure put on Ko

World No 2's desire to play at home the main motivation for NZ Open entry, NZ Golf boss says.

netball

Frew named as Steel captain

Wendy Frew will captain the Southern Steel for the 2015 trans-Tasman season.

Southland Steel's Wendy Frew has added another milestone to her already vast list of netball achievement.

Solia named Pulse assistant 

Former Samoan skipper Frances Solia appointed as Central Pulse assistant coach.

PLAYMAKER: Jodi Brown's ability to make those around her look better makes her hugely valuable to the Silver Ferns.

Fitness regime gets Pulse racing

The next few months of training promise to be netball's equivalent of an extreme makeover for the Pulse.

tennis

Few highlights for Kiwis in 2014

UP AND DOWN: Top Kiwi tennis player Marina Erakovic ended the season with a world ranking of 77.

Different year, similar results for NZ tennis, with Marina Erakovic ending season with lowly world ranking of 77.

Nadal ready for Aussie Open

Spanish star Rafa Nadal's Australian Open preparations on track after successful appendix surgery.

FEELING THE HEAT: Rising Aussie tennis star Nick Kyrgios says he's comfortable with the fact he'll carry the hopes of his nation into the Australian Open.

Kyrgios embraces the spotlight

Aussie tennis talent looks to kick off 2015 campaign with a hiss and roar.

motorsport

Whincup still number one man

SUPER STAR: Australian V8 Supercars driver Jamie Whincup celebrates after winning his sixth title in seven years.

Jamie Whincup proved once again he's the man to beat in the V8 Supercars series.

Kiwis right in the podium mix

New Zealand drivers continued to make their marks in major motorsport around the world in 2014.

James Davison during practice  for the Indianapolis 500.

Trophy back up for grabs

The prestigious Lady Wigram Trophy is returning to the Toyota Racing Series for the next three years.

other sports

Young Kiwi eyes top five spot

REASON TO SMILE: Kiwi heavyweight Joseph Parker has big plans in 2015 and could be ranked as high as No 5 in the world when he fights in Invercargill.

Joseph Parker could be flirting with a top-five world ranking when he fights in Invercargill next year.

Kiwi star's southern venture

New Zealand's most exciting boxing talent, heavyweight Joseph Parker, will fight in Invercargill in July.

SEA DOG: Jim Delegat and Giacomo at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.

French-Kiwi fusion in race

NZ winemaker Jim Delegat's second attempt at Sydney to Hobart yacht race has a distinctly French flavour.

racing

Nothing amiss with Pondarosa

FAVOURITE: Pondaroas Miss is billed as the one to beat in today's weight-for-age Zabeel Classic at Ellerslie.

Te Awamutu mare's odds for weight-for-age Zabeel Classic reflect some stunning efforts coming through the grades.

Brothers in Cruz control

Boxing Day 2014 could live forever in the memories of Cambridge brothers Trevor and Martin Cruz.

HE'S BACK: Ricky May felt the real Jason Rulz was back at Methven and the pair will combine to try and rule the roost in the Ashburton Cup today.

Jason playing by own rules

It is not the cup Greg and Nina Hope had in mind but they are happy just to have the real Jason Rulz back.