Maria Folau: Early Life, Family, Education, Career, Net Worth, Husband & Controversy

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Maria Folau is a world-renowned person who has used her talent and skills to play netball as one of the world’s best players. She is the wife of an Australian professional rugby union footballer, Israel Folau.

Everybody is known for their talent or extraordinary skills in something that makes them unique, and Maria is no different.

She played regularly for New Zealand’s national netball tea, the Silver Ferns, from 2005 to 2019. The love and support that she got for her amazing plays and role in the national team were overwhelming.

Besides that, she also played for a handful of clubs, including one from Australia. Maria became one of the best players to have ever played in the world of netball.

Maria Folau
Maria Folau (Source: Instagram)

So it lets us know more about Maria’s life. We can find detailed information about her life, education, and Career.

Below, we have also provided information about her personal life, net worth, salary, husband, and more.

Let us get started on the journey of making the best player in netball history.

Maria Folau | Quick Facts

Full Name Solonaima Maria Folau
Birth Date February 18 1987
Birth Place Tokoroa, New Zealand
Nationality New Zealander
Ethnicity White
Education Lynfield College, Mount Albert Grammar School, Blockhouse Bay Intermediate
Father’s Name Fuisami Tuta’ia
Mother’s Name Niugini Tuta’ia
Siblings 2 brothers and 1 sister
Age 37 Years Old
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 80 kg (176 lb)
Build Athletic
Married Yes
Date of Marriage November 15, 2017
Spouse Israel Folau
Profession Netball Player (retired)
Net Worth Estimated $1-$4 Million
Salary $90,000
Social Media Instagram, Facebook
Merch Paperback (Israel Folau)
Last Update February, 2024

Maria Folau | Early Life, Family, And Education

Maria was born on February 18, 1987, in Tokoroa, New Zealand. She was given the name Solonaima Maria Tuta’ia at the time of birth.

She was named by her parents, Fuisami and Niukini Tuta’ia, after her grandmothers Solonaima and Malia.

Although not much is known about her family, her Father was a forestry worker, and her mother was a housewife. She has two brothers and a sister as her siblings in her family.

Her family and friends were very supportive right from the beginning. That might be why she chose to be a professional netball player and played on the national team.


Maria studied at Lynfield College. However, she was transferred to Mount Albert Grammar School.

Folau showed deep interest and passion in netball and started playing the game in her school days.

She was regarded as one of the active students of her school and college. Maria quickly learned to play netball and got quite advanced in a short time.

She was even elected captain of her college’s netball team and secured 4th position in both NISS and NZSS championships.

Her athletic body and talents quickly made her a star in the team she played before beginning a professional career.

She also became the captain of her college’s first Premier netball team.

How Old Is Maria Folau? Age, Height, Nationality

Born in 1987, Maria is 37 years old. But, in reality, she appears much younger than her age.

Being from New Zealand, she also happens to be quite tall. Maria, as an athlete, has an athletic body.

Her physical fitness and physique might be one of the secrets about her looking so young at the age of 37.

Not to mention Maria also follows a strict diet and eats balanced and healthy food to stay fit and active. She also does different workouts and exercises to maintain her physique.

As mentioned earlier, Maria is an exceptionally tall woman with a height of about 1.88 m, which makes her significantly taller than an average Kiwis woman and man.

Her height might be due to her genetics and a little help from her sports.

Although she is from New Zealand, she also used to play in a team from Australia. But that does not change her Kiwi nationality. She is a proud Kiwi.

Maria Folau | Career

Folau started her Career as a domestic netball player for the Auckland Diamonds, where she played from 2005 to 2007.

However, she had begun playing netball at her college, where she became the captain of MAGS’s first Premier netball team.

Under her command, the team successfully secured the fourth position at the NISS and NZSS Championships.

In 2008, she was signed with the Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic, where she partnered with Irene Van Dyk in the shooting circle.

She played as a Magic for two years before transferring to Auckland to play with the Northern Mystics in 2010.

She started playing in the U21 team of New Zealand in 2003. Later in 2005, she helped her team bring home the World Youth Cup from Miami, which was a massive success for the young squad.

Her excellent game sense and skills helped her secure a spot on the Silver Ferns team. Then she made her on-court debut when the Ferns toured Jamaica.

Maria was in the squad of the Silver Ferns during their win in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, 2009, and 2010 World Netball Championships.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MARIA FOLAU (@mariatutaia)

Her stats in all these tournaments were excellent, showing that she was one of New Zealand’s and the world’s best netball players.

In 2018 Maria joined the Adelaide Thunderbirds in the Australian Super netball league for 2019.

Although she left the club at the end of the season, she was the lead goal scorer and won the club’s best and fairest award.


Before retiring, Maria represented New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2019 netball World Cup.

In late 2019, Folau retired from domestic and international netball. Netball New Zealand made the retirement announcement.

She could bag 150 caps for the Silver Ferns until the end of her netball career, making her the second-most capped player for her nation, the first being Laura Langman.

Maria Folau | Net Worth And Salary

Maria is one of the most successful players in New Zealand’s history. She has played in a handful of teams, excluding the national team of New Zealand.

Her salary increased as she went on playing netball professionally.

Although her exact salary is unknown to the public as such information is not revealed, she was expected to have a salary of around $90,000 before her retirement.

Of course, that was not it, she also clearly earns annually from advertisements and sponsorships, and she is sure to have more income sources.

Maria Folaul was last reported to be more than USD 4 Million. Her salary was not her only income source for her, but it was one of the sources.

Such great personalities are bound to earn more from media and sponsors. Her popularity does give a little sense of what her net worth might be.

Her net worth was last reported to be more than USD 1- 4 Million, and no, this does not include the net worth of her husband.

Net Worth Of Maria Folau In Different Currencies

Let’s look at Maria Folau’s net worth in different currencies, including cryptocurrency and BitCoin. 

Currency Net Worth
Euro 3,383,100 
Pound Sterling £2,904,820 
Australian Dollar A$5,431,868 
Canadian Dollar C$5,083,280 
Indian Rupee 294,790,000 
BitCoin ฿87 

Is Maria Folau Married? Husband & Wedding

Folau is happily married to her long-time boyfriend, now husband, Israel Folau. He is a professional Australian Rugby player.

Sadly, there is no information about how they first met and started dating. However, Maria and Folau got engaged in October 2016.

Maria announced her engagement on social media by posting a photo of the couple holding the engagement ring.

After a year of engagement, Maria and Israel decided to make it forever and exchanged vows on November 15, 2017.

Mari And Her Husband
Mari And Her Husband (Source: Instagram)

Their beautiful wedding ceremony was held at the Kangaroo Valley, New South Wales. As Israel is an Australian, they were happy to get married in his homeland.

After marriage, Maria happily changed her surname to Folau, which shows her love and devotion to her husband. They were said to be together for quite some time before getting married.

Who Is Israel Folau?

Israel is a professional Australian Rugby player who has played in many leagues and tournaments in Australia.

But unfortunately, he was dismissed by Rugby Australia from playing rugby in the country because of his comments on Instagram, which included a warning that said hell awaits homosexuals.

Israel Folau - Maria Folau husband
Israel Folau – Maria Folau Husband (Source: Twitter)

This was a downfall for the talented man at the time, and this event also took its toll on Maria, as told by Israel in an interview with Sky News.

However, the legal dispute was settled in December 2019, which followed the player’s total dismissal from playing any tournaments in the country.

He received about $9.5 Million from the settlement.

Now, he is playing for the Catalans Dragons, a professional rugby league club based in France, and is reported to be happy to get back into the sports he loves so much.

In an interview, Israel also said France had been perfect for them, and they were having fun there.

They seem pleased at present and are expecting their first child. In March of this year, they reported that they were expecting their first child at the end of this year.

Facts To Know

  • She is ranked among the most well-liked New Zealand players.
  • She is listed among the prominent New Zealander celebrities on the elite list.
  • February 18 is Maria Folau’s birthday each year.

Social Media Presence:

Maria Folau is quite active on social media. You can follow her on different social handles via these links.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by MARIA FOLAU (@mariatutaia)

Some FAQs

What Australia Netball Team does Maria Folau Play for?

As the sources added, Maria Folau played for the Adelaide Thunderbirds netball team in her playing years.

Does Maria Folau Have Tattoos on her body?

As much as we are informed, Maria Folau has no visible tattoos.

When did Maria Folau Retired?

Maria took her early retirement as she retired way back from her Career in the year 2019.

Does Maria Folau belong to Māori culture?

As we talk about her cultural background, she is culturally inclined to Samoan descent. 

Who is Israel Folau’s wife?

Maria Folau, the former professional New Zealand netball player, is the wife of Israel Folau.

What is Maria Folau doing now?

Maria Folau is enjoying her retired life and spending time with her husband and family.

How many caps does Maria Folau have?

Maria Folau has achieved 150 caps in her professional netball career. Maria became the fourth Silver Fern to complete 100 Test Caps at the netball World Cup SYDNEY 2015.

What position does Maria Folau play?

Maria Folau played in Goal attack (GA) and Goal shooter (GS) positions in her professional netball career.

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Aaditya Bhatta
Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta

Aaditya Bhatta is a dynamic writer and sports enthusiast, whose passion for both realms is reflected in his work. With a keen eye for detail and a knack for storytelling, Aaditya brings a unique perspective to his writing, captivating readers with his engaging content.


Sports Analysis Content Creation


  • Aaditya has consistently delivered insightful analysis and captivating content across various platforms.
  • From in-depth match reports to thought-provoking opinion pieces, Aaditya's versatility shines through in his ability to tackle diverse topics


Aaditya's journey as a writer and sports aficionado began at a young age when he discovered his passion for both pursuits. Throughout his academic and professional endeavors, Aaditya has honed his skills in content creation and sports analysis, immersing himself in the intricacies of the games he loves.

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