Three-time Olympian Richie Campbell has been around long enough to know Test series at home against quality opposition don't come around all that often.
It means the Merewether 32-year-old is grateful for the opportunity to host Croatia and the US in back-to-back months as the Australian men's water polo team continue their preparations for the 2020 Games in Tokyo.
"It's awesome in terms of preparation for us," Campbell told the Newcastle Herald after training in Sydney on Monday.
"It's not often we get Test series like this against quality opposition in Australia. It's normally us travelling around Europe for six weeks on end. And coming into a Games year makes it even more important."
The internationals start with the Sharks up against Croatia, medalists at this year's World Championships and the last two Olympics, in Sutherland on Tuesday.
It will be the same head-to-head battle in Drummoyne on Thursday and Homebush on Saturday.
Three fixtures against the US follow in Brisbane in January.
Campbell's teammate and fellow Novocastrian Nathan Power has some inside knowledge of Australia's upcoming opponents, having just returned mid-season from club commitments with Jadran Split in Croatia.
"One of my current teammates is here and another guys from my first [Croatian] club [Primorje]," Power said.
Campbell said the Sharks squad had remained largely intact from Rio 2016.
"I think this is the most experienced [Aussie] team I've played in," he said.
"We've been lucky to keep a lot of the guys together over the last six years."
Campbell said he will stay with the UNSW Wests Magpies for next year's Australian Water Polo League, which starts on January 24.
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