Gerard Stokes

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Gerard Stokes
Personal information
Full name Gerard James Stokes
Nickname Ged
Born 1955 (age 61–62)
Playing information
Position Prop
Years Team Pld T G FG P
Marist-Western (CRL)
1982 Eastern Suburbs (CRL)
1982–83 Workington Town 22
1986–?? Marist-Western (CRL)
Total 22 0 0 0 0
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1980–82 Canterbury
1982 South Island
1982 New Zealand 1 0 0 0 0
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1988–?? Marist-Western
1994–96 Canterbury Country
1997–02 Canterbury Bulls
2003 Wellington Orcas
2003–07 Workington Town
2008–10 Whitehaven
Total 0 0 0 0
Years Team Gms W D L W%
2008–10 Serbia
Source: NZLeague

Gerard James "Ged" Stokes (born 1955) is a former New Zealand rugby league coach and player who represented his country. He is a former coach of the Serbian national side and father of England international cricketer Ben Stokes.

Playing career[edit]

Stokes began playing rugby league early in life. In high school, he would sneak out of his boarding school in New Zealand every Saturday morning to play league for Canterbury.[1] He was a Schoolboy Kiwi in 1971 before later representing New Zealand in one test match and playing for Workington Town in 1982.[2]

At the age of 27, Gerard took his first coaching role as player-coach of Canterbury club, Marist-Western Suburbs.

Coaching career[edit]

In 1994 he was appointed coach of the new Canterbury Country Cardinals in the Lion Red Cup. The team made the finals in 1994 but finished tenth the following two years. The competition folded after the 1996 season.

After this he was appointed head coach of the Canterbury Rugby League representative side, facing irregular provincial competition.[3]

In 2000 he coached the Canterbury Bulls to a victory in the inaugural Bartercard Cup grand final. He was also named New Zealand coach of the year that season.[1]

He applied to coach the Kiwis in 2001 but was overlooked for Gary Freeman.[4] Instead he was appointed Assistant Coach and a co-selector, working under Freeman and in 2003 he was in charge of the New Zealand 'A' tour of Great Britain.[5][6]

In 2002 Stokes moved north and coached the Wellington Franchise in the Bartercard Cup.[7] He re-applied for the job at the end of the 2003 season but wanted too much money and so was not reappointed.[8]

Instead, at the end of the New Zealand 'A' tour, he was offered the opportunity to stay in England and coach his old club, Workington Town. The club was in a state of disrepair and only seven players were contracted to the club.[1] Stokes rebuilt the squad. However he was later fired by the club over an alleged disciplinary breach, despite being cleared by a RFL investigation. The club later agreed to a £14,000 pay-off days before a court case brought by Stokes was due to be heard.[9]

As of 2013 he and wife Deb had moved from rugby league and back to Christchurch to a job working with young offenders; they were also involved in the restoration of Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake.[10]


In early 2008 he was offered the job of coaching Whitehaven, Workington Town's bitter local rivals, after coach Paul Crarey left the club citing personal health issues.[11]

In late 2008 he travelled to Serbia and helped the national side prepare for the RLEF Euro Med Challenge.[12] This move quickly proved beneficial to his club side as Whitehaven signed young Serbian national Soni Radovanovic in January 2009.[13] Stokes was sacked in August 2010 after winning only 1 game in 14, with a disastrous record 13 game losing streak that ultimately led to Whitehaven's relegation from the Championship.[14][15]


  1. ^ a b c Caned Until I Bleed for Love of Rugby League The Whitehaven News, 15 May 2008
  2. ^ Coffey, John. Canterbury XIII, Christchurch, 1987.
  3. ^ Stokes on alert for 'hit men' The Press, 1 May 1999
  4. ^ The Locker Room Workers Online, 23 February 2001
  5. ^ 2003 NZ A Archived September 11, 2007, at NZRL Official Site
  6. ^ Line-up is everybody's guess The Press, 2 July 2001.
  7. ^ Bergman off to capital as cup coach The Nelson Mail, 22 October 2003
  8. ^ Stokes too costly for Wellington The Dominion Post, 14 October 2003.
  9. ^ Ged Stokes is new Haven coach North-West Evening Mail, 28 March 2008.
  10. ^ Hoult, Nick (15 May 2009). "Durham's Ben Stokes wins generation game at the Oval". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 5 July 2014. 
  11. ^ Stokes Pleased to be back in charge The Press, 26 April 2008.
  12. ^ Whitehaven Coach Ged Stokes to Boss Serbian National Side Times & Star, 6 October 2008
  13. ^ Whitehaven RLFC are set to make a little RL history Whitehaven Official Site, 20 January 2009
  14. ^ Norquay, Kevin (4 June 2010). "Kiwi coach tells tale of friend 'shot point blank'". NZPA. Retrieved 1 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Relegated Championship side Whitehaven sack boss Stokes BBC, 18 August 2010