Dual goals for Australia's women at water polo worlds


The world championships will serve a dual purpose for Australia's new women's water polo coach Bec Rippon.

Australia's women open their campaign on Sunday in Doha with a clash against minnows Singapore.

The Stingers will also meet New Zealand and global powerhouse Hungary in group games as Rippon begins her tenure as head coach.

"This is a good chance to go test ourselves out and for myself to get some experience as head coach in that environment," Rippon told AAP.

"It's a chance for us to see where we're at and what we really need to focus on over the next six months.

"This is really our last big chance to get a look at players before the Olympics at a big international competition."

Australia's women's team secured a berth at the Olympic Games in Paris, starting in late July, by winning their Oceania qualifiers.

The nation's men are still hunting a Paris spot but face a tough task against Croatia, Spain and South Africa in their world championships group.

For Rippon, the Doha titles also offer a chance to build on the women's fourth-place at last year's worlds in Fukuoka, Japan - where they were pipped by two goals by Italy in the bronze-medal game.

"That is how close the competition is at the moment," said Rippon, who was assistant coach at last year's event.

"We want to become a team that win those big games against the top-ranked teams.

"That we're more consistently able to win those games is an area to focus on ... there are some tactics around that, there is some character and personality and some approaches that we want to be able to take into the games."

The Stingers will be short-odds to down Singapore on Sunday and New Zealand on Tuesday, but the Hungarians on Thursday loom as their stiffest test.

"Hungary are in a position where they still need to qualify for the Olympics so it's a really important game for them as well as for us," Rippon said.

"That is going to be a really good match-up ... they are a great attacking team, and this is their national sport so there's a lot of pride.

"They are going to go out and fight but that's a good chance for us to test where we're at against one of the top teams."