It was a shock to everyone in rugby circles (I’m not in a rugby circle strictly speaking – unless you count me and my Dad watching a test match in front of the telly as a ‘circle’ - but I was shocked too) to hear of the passing of John Drake, ex All Black and rugby commentator for the NZ herald and Sky sport.
Drake was one of the few All Blacks that was in a world cup winning team. He was also a very good commentator and brought a lot of insight into his commentaries – a responsibility he had no choice but to shoulder when he was stuck calling a match with Tony TJ Johnson or Nisbo. I think I”ve sometimes criticized Drake in this blog but most mainstream rugby commentators in this country and abroad get the ruggerblogger treatment from time-to-time.
That doesn’t take away that he was a very good rugby player and an expert on one of the most complicated games on the planet. At 49, he was too young to die. My sympathies are extended to John’s family and whanau, his colleagues and friends.