Alex honoured to help set world record

Alex Ioannou was back for Spalding's home defeat to Syston last weekend
Alex Ioannou was back for Spalding's home defeat to Syston last weekend
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Alex Ioannou is back at Spalding after helping Cyprus to set a new world record.

The 26-year-old, whose dad comes from the Mediterranean island, made his international debut in 2012.

Last month he played in the 30-10 home win over Andorra and the 39-20 defeat away to Latvia in the European Nations Cup Division 2B where the next fixture will be in Hungary at the end of March.

Ioannou said: “Until the Latvia game we had a world record of 24 consecutive wins.

“It has taken a lot of hard work to get to that stage and our team is made up of players spread over from quite a few countries.

“It’s a real achievement and now this is a learning point where we know what we need to do for the next step up.

“We’ve had successive promotions and now we’re in a tough league where other teams have been in World Cup qualification.

“Cyprus had not been given that level of membership but now we’ve been recognised, although unfortunately the deadline has passed for the next World Cup so we will be looking to the 2019 tournament.

“We are a very small country but it’s a tight-knit community with players brought in from different levels across the UK and Europe. We come together to deliver the end product.

“Nothing matches the feeling when you put the national shirt on. You want to fight for your team-mates and represent your country.

“In Cyprus the main sports are volleyball and football but there is not enough funding for rugby.

“A lot of money comes through what the team can raise and we get very limited sponsorship.

“Our motto is all about getting the job done – on and off the pitch.”

Ioannou returned from international duty to find Spalding still searching for their first win of the season.

He has been with the club since returning from university two-and-a-half years ago.

Ioannou added: “It was always going to be a challenging season after getting promotion.

“We have a new squad and there has been an opportunity to blood a lot of young players.

“There is plenty of talent and we are working hard to pick up more points.”