17 Dec 2019

Silver Ferns veteran Maria Folau retires from netball

1:36 pm on 17 December 2019

Silver Ferns veteran shooter Maria Folau has retired from netball after playing 150 Tests for New Zealand.

Silver Fern shooter Maria Folau.

Maria Folau Photo: PHOTOSPORT

Folau won a Netball World Cup, two Commonwealth Games gold medals and three Fast5 Netball World Series tournaments over an international career that spanned 14 years.

She made her debut for New Zealand in 2005 against Jamaica when she was 18-years-old.

Folau represented New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games (2006, 2010, 2014 and 2018) and netted the winning goal in sudden death extra time for the gold medal in Delhi in 2010.

She also competed at four Netball World Cups including in Sydney in 2015 when she became just the fourth Silver Fern to earn 100 Test caps.

Silver Ferns shooter Maria Folau

Maria Folau in action against Australia in 2019. Photo: © Patrick Hamilton / Photosport. All Rights Reserved

Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said Folau will go down in history as one of New Zealand's Netball greats of the game.

"There is something special about watching Maria seamlessly land those long-range goals from any point in the shooting circle without a furrowed brow.

"You cannot consistently shoot like that, unless you are dedicated and committed to your craft. She will be long remembered for what she has brought to the game, and we will dearly miss her," Taurua said.

Folau ends her time in the black dress as the second most capped Silver Fern in history behind only Laura Langman.

Folau's name is not the only one missing from the Silver Ferns squad for the Nations Cup in England next month where they will also play Jamaica and South Africa.

Fellow veterans captain Laura Langman and Katrina Rore are taking a break from international play with shooter Maia Wilson and midcourters Whitney Souness and Kimiora Poi recalled to the national side.

"We are losing a lot of experience without Laura, Katrina and Maria, but it is a great chance to see what this next wave of Silver Ferns can bring to our game in the spotlight of International Test Netball," she said.

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