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.

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.

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.