Maria Folau

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua salutes Maria Folau's toughness

Folau helped lead the Silver Ferns to their first Netball World Cup title since 2003, landing 28 goals from 35 attempts in their 52-51 upset final win over Australia in Liverpool on Sunday (Monday NZ time).

It had been a long time coming for the 32-year-old, who along with Ferns' veterans Laura Langman and the retiring Casey Kopua, lost World Cup finals to Australia in 2007, 2011, and 2015.

Watching Folau effortlessly sink her trademark long range bombs during the World Cup, you wouldn't have known the challenges she's faced in her personal life in recent months. 

Israel Folau arrives in Liverpool to support wife Maria at Netball World Cup

The Daily Telegraph has reported that the sacked former Wallaby was spotted in Liverpool and will likely be in attendance when the Silver Ferns take on Australia on Thursday night.

Israel's contract with RA was terminated following a code of conduct hearing instigated after he shared an image on Instagram that said "hell awaits" homosexuals and other "sinners".

In an interview with Sky News last month, Israel said the fallout had been "extremely hard" on Maria, who is a high-profile sportswoman in New Zealand.

Netball NZ backing star shooter

The veteran shooter has made headlines after it was revealed she re-posted a controversial online fundraising campaign launched by her husband, former Wallabies fullback Israel Folau.

The cross-code star had his contracted terminated by Rugby Australia last month over a social media post which included homophobic content.

Last week he started a campaign with GoFundMe but on Monday the website shut down the fundraiser which was seeking $3 million towards his legal battle with the governing body.

Maria Folau re-posted the fundraiser on her social media.

Silver Ferns star Maria Folau hints at looming retirement after Netball World Cup

Folau, the wife of underfire Australian rugby star Israel Folau, who faces having his contract torn up after a series of controversial social media posts targeting the gay community, looks set to end her illustrious career after July's Netball World Cup.

In an interview with former Australian netballer Cath Cox on Channel Nine, the 32-year-old Folau, who is playing in Australia's Super Netball for the Adelaide Thunderbirds, said retirement was on the horizon.

"Let's just say I'm very close to the end," she said. 

Maria Folau steps up in upset Thunderbirds win

The Fever were ahead by two points in the final quarter when star goal shooter Jhaniele Fowler (51 goals, 51 attempts) went down with an ankle injury, and spent the remaining seven minutes sidelined at Priceline Stadium.

The new-look Thunderbirds line-up looked dominant from that point, allowing the Fever just three more goals while scoring six of their own to end the club's sorry sequence of 27 losses in a row.

Israel Folau's wife Maria Folau could feel implications from netball over his anti-gay posts

Maria's husband, Israel, is set to have his contract terminated by Rugby Australia for his latest homophobic and transphobic outburst.

He hasn't made any further comments since the reaction to his Twitter and Instagram posts, while Maria has also stayed away from social media.

But given couple's high profile, it has put the spotlight on Maria and how this could impact her netball career, both with the Thunderbirds who begin their season on April 28 and the Silver Ferns.

Maria Folau gets Silver Ferns exemption after quitting NZ

Shooter Folau has quit the Northern Mystics to live full-time in Australia.

The 31-year-old has been residing in Sydney since marrying Wallabies fullback Israel Folau last year, but travelled back to Auckland regularly to play for the Mystics.

Folau is part of the Silver Ferns squad to play the Australian Diamonds, South Africa's Proteas and England's Roses in next month's Netball Quad Series, starting on 15 September in Auckland.

It is unclear whether she'll continue her netball career in Australia.

Maria still adjusting to life as a Folau

After a 13-year international career, this campaign has a distinctly different feel about it. In her fourth Commonwealth Games, this will be the first in which she's taken the court with her new surname emblazoned across the back of her black dress, after her marriage to Australian cross-code superstar Israel Folau in November.

The 57-test veteran admits she's still coming to terms with this "weirdly" sentimental transition, despite having already debuted her new name during January's Quad Series.

Maria Folau hilariously mocks Israel's 'rudest haircut'

In the story post on her Instagram account, the pair watch an old State of Origin match in which Israel plays for Queensland.

"The RUUUUUDEST hair cut," is written across the video - a sentiment Maria also verbalises, before a topless Israel convulses in laughter.

Maria and Israel tied the knot in November, 2017, after announcing their engagement in October, 2016.

Recently, Maria has been more active on social media than Israel, who often posts messages related to his Christian faith.