Australia began with victory against New Zealand ©Water Polo Australia

Hosts Australia thrashed regional rivals New Zealand 18-3 on day one of the International Swimming Federation (FINA) Men's Intercontinental Water Polo Tournament.

A new look home side featuring five freshly capped players ran riot at the Gold Coast Aquatics Centre with Jarrod Gilchrist top-scoring with four goals.

Andrew Ford also bagged a hat-trick in the rout, with the Australians scoring seven of their goals in the final quarter.

The match took place on ANZAC day, a day of remembrance in both Australia and New Zealand.

"It's good for us to start the tournament with a win, especially in front of the crowd that turned out here today," said Australia head coach Elvis Fatovic.

"From tomorrow we will have tougher games, especially against Japan who have an unusual pressing style, they will be very tough.

Australia proved too strong for regional rivals New Zealand ©Water Polo Australia
Australia proved too strong for regional rivals New Zealand ©Water Polo Australia

"Hopefully we will be able to match it against them because they are a team that has a lot of their Rio Olympic players."

Six countries are contesting the Intercontinental Tournament which offers four qualification berths for the FINA World League Super Final in Russia.

All six will play in a round-robin with the top four booking their passage through.

In other opening matches today, reigning Super Final runners-up United States edged Japan 10-8.

Kazakhstan also began with a victory by pipping China 7-6.

Competition will continue in Gold Coast, the host of next year's Commonwealth Games, tomorrow.

Serbia, Croatia and Italy have already come through European qualification to reach the Super Final, while Russia have been given an automatic berth as hosts.