DJ looks set for chance in halves

Shining light: New buy Daniel Holdsworth should prove invaluable. Picture: Chris Lane
Shining light: New buy Daniel Holdsworth should prove invaluable. Picture: Chris Lane

JUST a few months after joining the club, Daniel Holdsworth could be piloting the Cronulla Sharks attack around the field in the club's NRL season opener against the Gold Coast Titans on Monday night.

That's the scenario facing the rugby league journeyman known as "DJ", after injuries to the team's top halves, Jeff Robson (fractured cheekbone) and Todd Carney (hamstring).

But it doesn't faze him.

"I think I'm up for it whether I'm chosen at half or five-eighth," he said after last week's 28-22 trial loss to the Wests Tigers at Remondis Stadium.

"But that is up to the coach."

The experienced Holdsworth has performed solidly in the Sharks trials, and made it clear from the time he arrived that he is after a starting spot in the Sharks line-up.

Though the Sharks still hope Carney will be fit to return for the season-opener from a minor tear, during the NRL Nines, Holdsworth looks the pea to fill the half-back spot with Robson's injury set to keep him out of the game for four to six weeks.

Holdsworth has been around long enough to know you take your chances when you can.

He's been to a few clubs, too, here and overseas.

Holdsworth was born in Tweed Heads and moved to Perth at an early age.

There he played all his junior rugby league for the North Beach rugby league club, going on to represent Western Australia in under-15s and under-18s.

In Sydney he played lower grades for Penrith before making his NRL debut for the St George Illawarra Dragons.

Injuries disrupted his two seasons there and limited first grade career.

Holdsworth found a home at the Canterbury Bulldogs, going on to play 70 games between 2006 and 2009.

He got a chance to experience British Super League, playing for the Salford City Reds and Hull FC.

When he was chosen to represent the Exiles, a team selected from Australian and New Zealand-born starts playing in England in 2012, Holdsworth was described by English fullback Sam Tomkins as "'very clever, powerful and an effective stand-off [five-eighth]."

At the end of the Super League 2013 season, he signalled his intent to return home.

Holdsworth was able to seal a deal to return to play for the Sharks in 2014.

During a good off-season of training with the Sharks, his Caringbah home was burgled and memorabilia stolen, including signed jerseys from former Bulldogs teammates Sonny Bill Williams and Andrew Ryan, but they were later found.

A surfing fan, he's settled right into the shire lifestyle over the summer — and now he's ready to make his mark for the Sharkies.