Scottish sport: Ones to watch in 2017 in rugby, football and track

Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray
Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray are club and international team-mates and could make it into the Lions squad

The new year is under way and the BBC Scotland sport team have been giving their thoughts on the Scots to look out for.

Andy Murray was rarely out of the headlines last year with victories at Wimbledon and the Rio Olympics as well as finishing 2016 top of the men's tennis rankings and then being awarded a knighthood.

But who will make 2017 their year?

Rugby - Six Nations & Lions beckon

In a month's time, Scotland will begin their Six Nations campaign against Ireland and all the home nations will be looking to impress ahead of the Lions' tour to New Zealand this summer.

Phil Goodlad: "Stuart Hogg and Jonny Gray are the leading prospects for Scottish involvement in the Lions tour. Hogg travelled four years ago as back-up but in 2017 his pace, running lines and booming clearance kicks for both Glasgow Warriors and Scotland could be potential weapons for the tourists."

Andy Burke: "Hogg stands out as the best hope of a Scot starting in a Lions Test for the first time since 2001. If he performs to his scintillating best in the Six Nations then the Lions 15 jersey should be his."

Tom English: "Gray's excellence has been long appreciated in Scottish rugby but now the rest of the hemisphere is catching up. Competition for places in the Lions second row is massive, Gray is in with a huge chance of being on the plane to New Zealand."

Phil Goodlad: "In the boiler house Gray is a work horse. Tireless at the breakdown and adds huge grunt around the park. Never gives up which is exactly what Warren Gatland's men will have to do if they are to make an impression this summer."

And, closer to home, Clive Lindsay adds: "Edinburgh full-back Blair Kinghorn is likely to receive his first Scotland cap this year."

Football - international ambitions

Scotland's women's and men's national football teams had contrasting fortunes in 2016. Anna Signeul's side sealed a place at Euro 2017 in the Netherlands - a first major tournament for Scotland women.

Chris McLaughlin: "Great chance for one of the world's best players, Kim Little, to shine at a major competition. The 26-year-old Arsenal Ladies midfielder already has 117 international caps to her name and has been widely tipped to be one of the key players in the Netherlands."

Scotland women
Scotland women will compete at Euro 2017 in July

David Currie: "Glasgow City goalkeeper Gemma Fay could earn her 200th international cap this year - she has 193 at the moment. Scotland will need her to be in top form at Euro 2017. The Scots face England, ranked fourth in the world, Spain - 14th - and Portugal in the group stage."

In the men's game, Gordon Strachan's side have had a disappointing start to their qualifying campaign for the 2018 World Cup in Russia, taking four points from a possible 12 so far. However, Celtic's Stuart Armstrong and Hearts' Jamie Walker are among the Scottish midfielders coming to the fore in the build-up to March's meeting with Slovenia.

Chris McLaughlin: "Armstrong is a young confidence player who is now oozing self belief. Totally transformed under manager Brendan Rodgers, Armstrong is now having the kind of effect at Celtic that he had at Dundee United. If he continues to develop and finally breaks into the international set-up, the Scottish champions could struggle to hold on to him."

Liam McLeod says of Armstrong: "Scotland call-up. Watch this space."

Richard Wilson: "Hearts' most creative player, Jamie Walker, is maturing into an integral part of the Tynecastle side. He is currently the team's top scorer and with his ability to break opposition defences with his passing or running with the ball, he could progress into the Scotland squad in the next 12 months."

On the track

Scotland's athletes are between the Olympics and next year's Commonwealth Games but there are European and world events on the horizon.

Jane Lewis: "Laura Muir has already proved herself as a world-class athlete, although 2016 was a mixed year. She broke British records and won the Diamond League title, however there was disappointment at the Olympics in Rio. But Muir is a strong, gutsy character and will no doubt use that to spur her on to further success in 2017. The European Indoor Championships take place in Belgrade in March and then a home World Championships in August await."

Kheredine Idessane: "Andrew Butchart had a breakthrough year in 2016, in which he finished sixth in the Olympic 5,000m final in Rio (won by Mo Farah) and also broke long-standing Scottish records over 3,000m and 5,000m. He'll be a strong medal contender for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on Australia's Gold Coast. From Dunblane, Butchart is a friend of the Murrays, and his girlfriend Caitlin is the step-daughter of Andy Murray's dad, Will."

Jane Lewis: "Callum Hawkins had an impressive 2016 and as a result has already been selected for Great Britain at this summer's World Championships in London. The Kilbarchan long-distance runner finished ninth in the Rio Olympics marathon and capped off a great year by winning the Great Scottish Run half-marathon in Glasgow. The 24-year-old gets his 2017 season up and running at the Edinburgh International Cross Country on Saturday."

Andrew Butchart and Callum Hawkins
Butchart (left) led a successful defence of Central AC's win at the Scottish National XC Relays in October while Hawkins posted the fastest 4km leg

Big year all round for Scots

Tom English: "2016 was a wretched year for golfer Stephen Gallacher, his form falling off a cliff partly because of a persistent wrist injury. The end of the year suggested he's on his way back, though. His last four tournaments have been promising. Every week is a big week in 2017."

Andy Burke: "Described as 'the finest young talent Scotland has had since Ken Buchanan' by his manager Barry McGuigan, boxer Josh Taylor captured the Commonwealth super lightweight title by stopping Dave Ryan in October and will make his Las Vegas debut later this month on the undercard of the re-match between Carl Frampton and Leo Santa Cruz. A potential all-Scottish showdown with Ricky Burns also looms in the distance, though perhaps not this year."

Jane Lewis: "Duncan Scott already has two Olympic silver medals and he's only 19 years old. The Stirling University swimmer helped Team GB to relay success in the 4x200m freestyle and the 4x100m medley in Rio. His reputation is growing fast and he'll now want to further prove himself among the best. The British Swimming trials in April will be used as selection trials for the World Championships in Budapest in July."

David Currie: "Paul Foster has won the Indoor Bowls World Championships four times already, his new fitness regime might just help him to win it again later this month in Norfolk. He might have to beat five-time winner and best pal Alex 'Tattie' Marshall to do it."

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