Retired Silver Ferns star Maria Folau has broken her silence while in lockdown in France, saying she is enjoying time spent with her husband Israel.
Maria and Aussie cross-code star Israel have been enjoying time together in their home in Perpignan after so many years apart due to their respective sporting careers.
The pair has been in lockdown since early March, three games into former Wallabies fullback Israel's move to France to join Super League club the Catalan Dragons.
It was a sporting lifeline for Israel after he was sacked by Rugby Australia after he posted homophobic comments on social media.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
During the entire saga, Maria chose to step out of the public limelight and avoided commenting on the controversy surrounding her husband, choosing instead to focus on the last few years of her netball career.
The 150-test Silver Fern was a key member of the World Cup-winning side last year and retired from netball shortly after in relatively muted fashion.
In a rare interview, Maria spoke to Netball NZ about the bright side of lockdown after "14 years on the run", but avoided commenting on the public furore around her husband.
"Izzy and I never get this much time together," she said. "It's been really awesome for us to just do nothing and annoy the heck out of each other because that's what married couples do.
"France has been really cool to us, to be completely honest, it's been really fun and we've been enjoying this opportunity here."
Maria and Israel have also had company in isolation, with Maria's brother, Bordeaux-based rugby player Masalosalo Tutaia, along with his fiancee and son visiting just as the lockdown was announced, forcing them to stay in Southern France.
The 33-year-old Maria said she doesn't plan on returning to netball, saying the World Cup final triumph was an appropriate way to end her career.