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Maria Tutaia and Israel Folau: All loved up!

The netball star’s new romance is Instagram official!

Maria Tutaia couldn’t look any happier in her latest Instagram snap, and it’s not hard to see why – the stunning Silver Fern shooter is cuddled up to none other than hunky Wallabies star Israel Folau!

The rumoured couple look to have made their romance Instagram official, after exchanging a series of flirty messages a few weeks ago.

In their first social media snap together, Israel has his arm draped around Maria as the pair sit by the waterfront in Queenstown. Maria shared the photo on her Instagram page yesterday, while Israel did the same on Twitter – adding a ‘rose’ symbol as the caption.

The photo comes two weeks after Maria, 29, and Israel, 26, first sparked rumours of a budding relationship by engaging in some very public flirting on social media.

It all started when Maria shared a photo of Israel in action during a rugby game with the caption ‘bae’. Israel later returned the favour, posting a glammed-up photo of Maria at an event with the caption “WCE” (‘woman crush everyday’) and a heart-eyed emoji.

Maria and Israel shared these photos of each other on their social media pages.

Earlier this year, Maria revealed to Woman’s Day that she had a whole new outlook on life and netball after having battled her fair share of challenges. At one point, she revealed she had even considered walking away from the sport altogether, but a few months of soul-searching saw her realise she still had more to give.

“Life is about growing and getting to know yourself, and knowing what you can and can’t handle,” she told us.

“And the time away from netball – the game and the girls – made me realise that I can’t handle not being around netball. But I also can’t handle my whole life revolving around it. I need more balance.”

Part of that new outlook was discovering that she didn’t need to be perfect – and that self-acceptance included embracing her new curves. The gorgeous netball star admits to battling nerves about stripping down for a bikini shoot, purely because she had put on a few kilos.

“I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learnt lately is that it’s OK to feel uncomfortable or different as a woman – things can’t be perfect all the time and sometimes you’re going to feel vulnerable or not confident,” Maria said.

“We’re so hard on ourselves as women. We’ve got to give ourselves a break!”

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