Nine under-16 Tauranga water polo players have been selected to represent New Zealand for a test series against Australia.

Both the boys' and girls' test matches will take place in Auckland over three days from July 21-23.

The test series commences at the end of the Pan Pacific Youth Water Polo Festival, where these New Zealand representatives will also be representing Tauranga Water Polo in the under-16 and under-18 competitions.

The Pan Pacifics 2014 under-14 boys' division was won by the Tauranga side, who will be defending their title this year as the Under 16A team.

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Joseph Schuler was in that champion team and is keenly anticipating the next two weeks.

"It's really exciting and we've all been looking forward to it for a long time. We're hoping to defend the title but there are way more international teams this time so it will be a tough competition."

Over the years the number of New Zealand representatives coming from Tauranga Water Polo has increased significantly, which is indicative of the growing popularity of the sport locally as well as the high performance pathway that the club is fostering throughout the age levels.

Tauranga Water Polo has 10 teams competing at the Pan Pacific Festival, from under-14 through to under-20 divisions, which is about 100 young water polo athletes.

It is an opportunity for players to match up against international competition, with teams coming from Australia, the US and South Africa.