He played twelve times for New Zealand including eight test matches. He debuted for the All Blacks on the 1985 tour of Argentina playing in the 56–6 thumping of Mar del Plata. Drake was a key member of the 1987 All Black team which won the 1987 Rugby World Cup, playing in five of the six matches including scoring a try in the semi-final victory against Wales and playing in the final against France.
He retired at the end of the 1987 season while only 28 and later became a newspaper columnist and television commentator. Drake was educated at Auckland Grammar School. He died suddenly at his home, aged 49, on 13 December 2008.