Jonathan Drennan

Author's details

Name: Jonathan Drennan
Date registered: January 20, 2016
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/tennis

Latest posts

  1. The Olympian who swapped Team GB hockey for ice hockey in Basingstoke — July 19, 2017
  2. Jack Kyle: the student who skipped class to play for the Lions against the All Blacks — June 22, 2017
  3. Has Australia fallen out of love with rugby union? — December 8, 2016

Author's posts listings

Jul 19

The Olympian who swapped Team GB hockey for ice hockey in Basingstoke

Great Britain’s all-time top goalscorer, Ashley Jackson, has given up a pro career and a place in the Tokyo 2020 squad to pursue his first love: ice hockey

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Three-time Olympian Ashley Jackson is about to begin another gruelling pre-season, but for the first time in many years he is excited about a fresh, different challenge. Jackson is Great Britain’s all-time top goalscorer in field hockey, but he has not joined the Olympic squad as they prepare for Tokyo 2020. He has left field hockey behind, for now, to focus on his first love: ice hockey.

Jackson is considered one of the finest hockey players in the world. He made his international debut aged 17 and two years later became the first Englishman to win the FIH young player of the year award. A relative rarity in his chosen sport, the 29-year-old was able to compete as a professional in leagues across the world while building a storied international career. So his decision to play semi-pro ice hockey for Basingstoke Bison has surprised many.

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Related: Jack Kyle: the student who skipped class to play for the Lions against the All Blacks

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/behind-the-lines/2017/jul/19/ashley-jackson-olympics-hockey-ice-hockey-basingstoke-bison

Jun 22

Jack Kyle: the student who skipped class to play for the Lions against the All Blacks

Jack Kyle’s parents weren’t happy when he ditched his exams for a four-month tour but he paid them back with tries against the All Blacks and the Wallabies

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

Dr Jack Kyle was voted Ireland’s greatest ever rugby player in 2002, more than four decades after he has last represented his country. He first played for Ireland during the second world war in a friendly against a British Army XV but made his official international debut in 1947, the year before he helped Ireland win their first ever grand slam. He went on to represent the newly named British Lions in New Zealand and Australia but, regardless of what he achieved as a fly-half, he was most proud of his 34-year career working as a surgeon in Zambia.

Related: Jack Kyle, one of Ireland’s all-time rugby greats, dies aged 88

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/behind-the-lines/2017/jun/22/jack-kyle-lions-new-zealand-all-blacks-australia

Dec 08

Has Australia fallen out of love with rugby union?

Australia were well beaten by England on Saturday but the sport is facing bigger troubles at home, where participation, investment and interest are falling

By Jonathan Drennan for Behind the Lines, part of the Guardian Sport Network

The Wallabies have returned home after a heavy defeat to England in front of a capacity crowd at Twickenham. Taking a beating from England is never easy for any Australian sports fan, but the result was softened by the fact that the match reports hovered slightly above the weekend’s lawn bowl results. Rugby union is largely out of sight and out of mind here.

If you don’t live in Australia, it is hard to believe that rugby union features so low on the sporting agenda. The Wallaby jersey has been worn by some of the game’s greatest players and the country’s contribution to the sport has been enormous historically, but the game is losing relevance for Australians. The country’s stadiums are barely filled and the crowds are muted.

Related: Wallabies end 2016 on a low note but positives emerge from European tour | John Davidson

Related: From Fiji to Sweden: how a Scottish cricket coach taught the world to play

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/behind-the-lines/2016/dec/08/australia-rugby-union-england