The West

For most of us, this weekend's water polo matches between Australia, China and Croatia will be a unique opportunity to see international competition at the highest level.

But for four West Australians, it will hopefully prove to be the springboard to a successful 2013 that includes national selection and a world championship.

The matches are part of the inaugural Aquatic Super Series in Perth.

On Friday night, the Australian women's team will play China, who they beat in the quarter finals of the London Olympics after penalties.

And the men will play reigning Olympic champions Croatia on Saturday afternoon at Challenge Stadium.

For Glencora Ralph, 24, it will be the first taste of international action since winning a bronze medal with the Australian team at the Olympics.

"Winning bronze was amazing and I am looking forward to playing for Australia again as we seek to earn more success at the world championships in Barcelona in July," the Curtin University-trained dental therapist said.

"At this stage I haven't committed to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, so I'm looking forward to every game I play for my country."

Zoe Arancini was the first reserve for the Olympic team and, as a result, did not get a trip to London last year.

But retirements and her continuing good form have earned the 21-year-old a place in the team.

"I'm looking forward to playing China," she said. "They are a very strong team and will be looking for revenge after the Olympics.

"It's going to be a good test."

Joel Swift, 22, and Eddie Slade, 21, have been on the periphery of the Australian team and will be on a training camp this week to push for selection.

Both men have played water polo for about 10 years and have enjoyed success at junior international level.

"If I get the chance to play for Australia against Croatia, it will be the biggest thrill of my career," Slade said.

The Aquatic Super Series will be the only time the Australian water polo and swimming teams compete on the same stage, except at the world championships and the Olympic Games.

The West Australian

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