Maria Folau is a courageous woman who is sticking to the job at hand of helping the Silver Ferns prepare for the netball World Cup, coach Noeline Taurua says.

The Silver Ferns are in the middle of warm-up matches for the World Cup, to be held in England in two weeks, just as Folau has come under fire for her support of husband Israel, the former superstar Wallaby who is embroiled in a contract dispute with Rugby Australia over divisive tweets.

It's led two major netball sponsors on both sides of the Tasman to publicly distance themselves from Folau.

Taurua told Newstalk ZB's Mike Hosking it had been hard on Folau, but the Silver Fern shooter was holding up.


"She is a courageous woman and, at the end of it, she's married to her husband and obviously loves him," she said.

"There's a lot going on behind the scenes for both of them as a couple, but I couldn't be more happy and elated with what's she's doing with us."

"She is fully committed ... and she is doing her job."

Taurua said her job as coach was to focus on the team and leave the political football surrounding Folau and her husband to the politicians.

"Sometimes I think: 'jeez, I'm not a politician, I'm a coach, and we have a priority to do, which is to head to the World Cup and obviously get ourselves into the grand final and win'," she said.

"So that's big enough in our eyes."

Taurua said Folau had been "anxious" and had conceded playing through the public furore was "a tough task".

"We're on the right track, we've just got to keep going, day-in, day-out."


It comes after the Silver Ferns lost the first ever game broadcast between them and a New Zealand Invitational Men's side 54-50 last night.

Despite the loss, Taurua said the game had been a great warm-up hit out.

She said she couldn't be happier with the physicality and pressure the game placed on the Silver Fern players.