Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua has no doubts that Maria Folau will be able to perform in next month’s Netball World Cup despite the storm that continues to rage around her and her husband.
Taurua today had to defend her star shooter, who last week used social media to support her husband Israel's fundraising campaign for his legal battle with his former employer Rugby Australia after having his contract terminated over homophobic comments he published online.
The Silver Ferns had their first full team meeting this afternoon where all players were expected to be given a chance to express any issues or concerns.
"It will be an issue we will have to work through that's because of our team culture and ensuring that we do support each other but also ensuring that we keep our priorities very clear," Taurua said.
"Performance there's no issue, standards there's no issue and statistics there's no issue and she can do her job so I’m very comfortable and I'm really happy that she is in the team cause for me she's a world beater."
Taurua wouldn’t go into her personal feelings about Maria’s support of her husband’s homophobic social media post, instead saying she had no doubts Folau could perform in the World Cup in Liverpool.
"I have a lot of personal issues that I would love to express but for me this is not the right forum to express it because us as a team as the Silver Ferns we want to play netball so it's not my role."
"At the moment I have no issues or no worries that she's not going to perform knowing the athlete that she is."
Folau’s support of her husband prompted some of Netball New Zealand’s sponsors to raise concerns with the governing body.
ANZ says it doesn't support any views or actions that are seen to support homophobia, while MYOB has clear policies supporting diversity in the workplace and expects their partners to share those values.