Maria Folau has retired from all forms of netball, ending her 150-cap career with a low-key farewell.
A Netball New Zealand press release on Tuesday confirmed the 32-year-old had hung up her bib, having played her final Tests in the recent Constellation Cup series loss to Australia.
“Her service to the sport and dedication to New Zealand Netball is something we are very thankful for and we wish Maria all the best for her future,” Netball NZ Chief Executive Jennie Wyllie said.
“Her resume speaks volumes to the talented athlete that Maria is.”
‘TOO MUCH BAGGAGE’: Cold water poured on Folau's potential NRL return
Known for her deadly shooting radar, particularly from distance, Folau became a regular fixture for the Silver Ferns and was a key figure when they pipped the Diamonds in the final of this year's World Cup in Liverpool.
That gold medal added to three world championship silvers and two Commonwealth Games golds.
The development comes as somewhat of a surprise, with many thinking the Nations Cup would be Folau’s final appearance for New Zealand.
Folau’s future in the game had been under a cloud since she rejected offers to return to the Adelaide Thunderbirds in Australia’s Super Netball competition two months ago.
Folau, the wife of axed Wallabies star Israel Folau, won the Thunderbirds' best-and-fairest award for 2019 but announced she wouldn’t return to the Adelaide club or any Super Netball rival.
She struggled to hold back tears before the second Constellation Cup match against Australia in October in Auckland - a sign she was about to play her final game at home.
Captain Laura Langman was also in tears while discussing Folau’s 150th Test - the fourth match of the Constellation Cup in Perth - which was in fact her farewell.
Silver Ferns coach Noeline Taurua said Folau will be remembered as one of New Zealand's greatest players.
"There is something special about watching Maria seamlessly land those long-range goals from any point in the shooting circle without a furrowed brow," Taurua said on Tuesday.
"You cannot consistently shoot like that, unless you are dedicated and committed to your craft.
“She will be long remembered for what she has brought to the game, and we will dearly miss her."
Maria caught up in husband’s scandal
The 32-year-old’s season in Adelaide was marred by the furore surrounding her husband's religious social media posts.
Israel Folau's contract with Rugby Australia was terminated after his posts, which resulted in an ugly legal battle and a confidential settlement.
Maria was drawn into the controversy in June when, on her social media accounts, she shared Israel's crowd-funding campaign for his legal fight. The campaign was later shut down.
Australian netball hierarchy investigated Maria's actions but ruled she didn't breach any of the competition's rules.
A hugely popular figure throughout her Test career, which began as an 18-year-old, Folau chose to withdraw from the limelight over the past two years because of the public furore surrounding her husband.
Supportive of her husband's ardent religious beliefs and by his side throughout a legal battle with his former employers Rugby Australia, she became a source of some antagonism.
She has given one interview to media this year - a brief television chat after the World Cup final.
Even the press release on Tuesday didn't feature any comment from the player.
She finishes as the second most-capped Silver Fern in history behind Langman.