Watch: Silver Fern Maria Folau opens up about NZ departure - 'It's been really testing times this year'

Maria Folau has revealed the motives behind her decision to quit New Zealand netball and live in Australia.

The Silver Ferns shooter told 1 NEWS today family, her marriage, health and other things were all part of the choice.

"Life changes," she said.

"It's been really testing times this year with netball – also trying to juggle my marriage and my family who reside [in Australia] as well."

The 31-year-old has been residing in Sydney since marrying Wallabies fullback Israel Folau last year but travelled back to Auckland regularly to play for the Mystics.

She said the travel was an issue.

"The decision for me was purely based on how I was feeling, how my body was, what was really important to me in the next few series… and the World Cup (in 2019).

"Travelling was just too hard on my body."

Netball New Zealand has granted Folau a 12-month exemption, making her eligible to play for the Silver Ferns in 2019 despite no longer being contracted to a New Zealand Premiership team.

Folau is part of the Silver Ferns squad to play the Australian Diamonds, South Africa's Proteas and England's Roses in next month's Netball Quad Series, starting on 15 September in Auckland.

Folau has played 128 times for New Zealand since debuting in 2005 and played for the Mystics since 2010.

It is unclear whether she'll continue her netball career in Australia.

The Silver Ferns shooter says there were multiple factors leading to her decision. Source: 1 NEWS

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