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Folau opens up on Maria Tutaia and turning down the Blues
Source: nzherald.co.nz   |   August 26, 2017   |  139 Views

Wallabies star Israel Folau has opened up about how he considered quitting Australian rugby - all for his fiancee and Silver Ferns netball star Maria Tutaia.

Folau will take to Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium tonight as he and his Wallabies team-mates look to avenge last weekend's 54-34 loss to the All Blacks in Sydney.

While most Kiwis will be firmly cheering on the All Blacks, Tutaia's loyalty will be split; backing the men and black and also her partner who will be wearing the green and gold of the Wallabies.

In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Sydney-based Folau has confirmed he considered swapping the Waratahs for the Blues so he could live in the same city with Tutaia.

"I had a look at it, in the end it wasn't really going to work out, but I wanted to explore the option of doing it for the sake of our relationship," Folau told the paper. "And she understands that, she knows the best thing for both of us is for me to be here now, and she doesn't have long in her career so I really want her to go out and finish in the way she wanted to.

"It was a challenging period, I had to think of the position my fiancee was in and figure out what's best for the both of us, it's not just about her or me."

Folau eventually decided to stick with the Waratahs and Australian rugby, with the Daily Telegraph reporting Tutaia had signed a contract with New Zealand Netball allowing her to travel regularly to Sydney to see him, as well as have an extended break next year to spend up to six months with him.

Folau told the paper that the pair were planning to get married later this year.

When they see each other at the moment it is restricted to normally a maximum of two nights at a time.

He said he was "really supportive of her career".

"It's pretty tough, you want to spend a lot of time with each other but the distance is a challenge," Folau said.

"We understood that, right from the beginning when we started seeing each other.

"We try to make the most of the situation we're in and be content with how it is, we know it's not going to be forever so we just want to make the most of the position we're in now, and when that time comes it will be really, really worth it.

"I'm happy with that, so is she."

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