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The photo follows the NRL receiving a Pride in Sport award this week for its support of the LGBTI community. Brown said to see Foliaki after a week in which they barely spoke was very emotional. It started from there.". In the lead up to Friday night's game Brown and Foliaki told NRL.com that the State of Origin clash would be their biggest relationship challenge yet, and revealed how they fell in love after sharing commiseration drinks following a loss to the New Zealand team. They have been open about their relationship in the women's rugby league ranks and has never been an issue among their teammates and support staff. Brown, the Queensland State of Origin captain, and New South Wales lock Foliaki have been in a relationship since they were both selected for the Australian Jillaroos representative side in 2014. Yet also to show that we’ve still got some way to go. A photo of women’s State of Origin players Karina Brown, who plays for Queensland, and Vanessa Foliaki, of New South Wales, was posted to the NRL’s social media accounts after the thrilling game came to a conclusion last night. Victoria has recorded five new coronavirus cases and three deaths in the past 24 hours. I guess the more we can get it out there, that it's OK to be who you are, it won't be a shock anymore. The kiss happened between the  Blues’   Vanessa  Foliaki  and  Queenslander  Karina Brown. We kissed, which is a totally normal thing, and thought nothing of it," Foliaki told PlayersVoice. "I think it's more accepted now and the Jillaroos make it feel like home.

The NRL responded with: “Welcome to 2018 … can’t wait for you to join us!”, Another person claimed the NRL was “already sexualizing the women’s league” and that it was “one step forward, three steps back.”, The NRL replied: “If we can post a photo of [Roosters star] Cooper Cronk and his wife Tara kissing, then we can share a photo of Karina Brown and Ness Foliaki sharing a moment too.”, https://www.instagram.com/p/BBn2ZmXA3OG/?utm_source=ig_embed. Brown told NRL.com that her experience 'coming out' and being accepted as a gay woman was very different for her partner Foliaki.

Witness the spirit of Origin manifest on the iconic North Sydney Oval on Friday, June 22. "If we can post a [photo] of Cooper Cronk and his wife Tara kissing, then we can share a photo of Karina Brown and Ness Foliaki sharing a moment too," the NRL wrote.

Brown admits she's the softer person in the relationship but describes Foliaki as ruthless around State of Origin week.
"Everyone wants us to get married," Foliaki said.

Both Foliaki and Brown were taken by surprise by the reaction to that posting.

"It happened then, though I don't remember that much about it.

She's a Queenslander and I want to beat her," Foliaki told NRL.com. "It was hard for her and she stands with me today as we fight for to make sure the next generation has a beautiful experience," Brown said. Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki embrace at the end of the inaugural women's State of Origin match last month.

Brown said she hopes there comes a time when an image like the one of her kissing Foliaki doesn’t spark a reaction because it’s considered normal. Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki embrace at the end of the inaugural women's State of Origin match last month.

I feel really fortunate to have been born in a time where I could do that; be myself and not have to worry about who was watching me.".
The pair's relationship went viral in the days following the Holden Women's State of Origin fixture in 2018 when they shared a kiss after playing against each other in the inaugural clash.

"I never saw myself as an advocate as such. Brown also thanked Foliaki, who at times struggled with the publicity the moment had generated. "We've got to buy a house first ... and Ness wants a goat.". Foliaki and Brown said they had been a week apart with their respective teams before catching up at the end of the game. Another comment suggested there would be "public outrage" if two men had kissed after a men's State of Origin game, claiming young women would be "put off" from playing the game by the image.

“We were getting messages from random people who wrote to us and said, ‘We’ve been going through the same thing and it’s nice to see athletes at your level come out and say that it’s OK.’ It’s helped a lot of people, which is good. That’s what we want to do,” Foliaki wrote. Both are expected to join the Sydney Roosters in September.

"I probably just said, 'Good game, can't wait to see you after this'.

The National Rugby League has thrown its support behind women's State of Origin opponents Karina Brown and Vanessa Foliaki after a social media backlash from a segment of fans angry at a photo of the couple kissing at the close of last night's game in Sydney. The couple have been together since 2014. ", Loving couple off-field; fierce rivals on-field. The coaching staff are supportive. "I saw her eyes light up and she came over, bought me a drink and the rest is history.". We're feeling all the love.".

The NRL hit back against comments suggesting the NRL was "sexualising" the game by sharing the photo. "I think that moment when I look at it, I felt safe to do that," Brown told NRL.com.