Folaus not a certainty to come as a package deal
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Folaus not a certainty to come as a package deal

The rugby half of the Family Folau insists they don't necessarily come as a package deal as Israel and netball star Maria move closer to settling their sporting futures.

Israel Folau will be off contract after this year while Kiwi sharpshooter star Maria has been given a clearance to play Super Netball in Australia next season.

Maria Folau is on the lookout for a Super Netball side.

Maria Folau is on the lookout for a Super Netball side.

Photo: AP

She has been heavily linked to the Giants in Sydney, while Folau will strongly consider signing a fresh deal with the Waratahs, meaning they would be in the same city for the first time in three years.

But Israel Folau said while that was the ''best-case scenario'', there was no guarantee that their futures would align quite so seamlessly as the married couple map out the next part of their respective athletic careers.

The couple have maintained their long-distance marriage across the Tasman and would dearly love to base themselves at least in the same state, Folau said.

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But he insisted nothing was set in stone, with Super Rugby's Queensland Reds showing heavy interest in Folau, while Maria also has family in the state, as well as new Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua in charge of the Sunshine Coast Lightning.

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"We’d both like to be in the same state. It would make things easier," Israel said.

"Being athletes, it doesn’t always go that way. The best thing about that is me and Maria have been doing that for the past three years now. It’s something we’ve had to get used to. We have to tough it out, do the best we can for now and enjoy it when things are done.

"Her netball opportunities are limited and only for a short time, like most athletes. That’s the best-case scenario but if it doesn’t work that way, we’ve been doing it for the past three years and try to make the most of our time together. We’ll adapt and go with it.

"She [Maria] enjoys Queensland and she loves it in Sydney as well."

Folau offered no hint of his next stop, saying there was no great rush and he would make a call in due course. He did suggest he had more than a few options to sort through.

"Everyone knows I’m off contract this year. Like I said in the past, there are so many options I’m working through with my management. There’s no timeline to it. I’ll come out when I’ve made the decision and let everyone know."

As for what would happen if Maria signed with a Super Netball team in one state and he then played rugby in another, Folau confessed: "I’d be in trouble."