Israel Folau
Israel Folau

At least one Folau will make the World Cup

Maria Folau has won selection to compete at the Netball World Cup in a welcome dose of good news for the veteran Silver Ferns goal shoot.

Coach Noeline Taurua will call on Folau, defender Casey Kopua and midcourter Laura Langman to anchor New Zealand's campaign in Liverpool in July. The trio will all contest their fourth World Cup and are the Test centurions in a 12-strong squad that contains 781 Test caps.

Folau's selection comes in the wake of a difficult month for the Adelaide Thunderbirds star.

She has remained publicly silent throughout the controversy swirling around husband Israel Folau, the Waratahs and Wallabies star who has been stripped of his Rugby Australia contract following homophobic posts on social media. Maria Folau, 32, has strongly hinted the World Cup will be her last event for New Zealand.

Maria Tutaia & Israel Folau.
Maria Tutaia & Israel Folau.

She may yet continue playing in the Australian Super Netball league, where she is the only leading Kiwi player along with Sunshine Coast Lightning star Langman.

Assistant coach Debbie Fuller said there was never any question that Folau would make the squad due to her experience.

"Maria's the kind of shooter who, in the big games, wants to be there and wants to shoot," Fuller said.

"She's immersed (in Super Netball) and that in itself shows she wants to extend herself and extend her knowledge of the game." Former skipper Kopua has already confirmed her retirement will follow the tournament.

Taurua has made a number of notable recalls, including former captain Katrina Rore, who was dropped for the Quad Series in January.

Goal defence Rore has been one of the stars of a Central Pulse team who have qualified to host the final of the Kiwi domestic league.

The 32-year-old is a netball veteran.
The 32-year-old is a netball veteran.


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