Prospects bleak for Kimmorley's replacement

The man charged with replacing veteran halfback Brett Kimmorley remains in career limbo, with the Bulldogs still deciding whether to offer him a new contract beyond 2009.<br><br>Daniel Holdsworth will be told today that he will wear the no.7 jersey next week after Kimmorley suffered a fractured cheekbone midway through the first half of yesterday’s 40-20 win over the Warriors.<br><br>But with five-eighth Ben Roberts having already been re-signed and the Bulldogs again being among the more active clubs in the player market, they remain undecided on Holdsworth’s future in the blue and white.<br><br>“We’re still not sure,” chief executive Todd Greenberg told NRL.com this morning. “It’s something we’re still looking into and I’m hopeful that we can sit down with Daniel to work through a few things later this week.<br><br>“That’s not to say that we won’t decide to keep him but we haven’t made a decision yet… time will tell.”<br><br>If the Bulldogs do decide against him it will leave Holdsworth with no options in the NRL after Parramatta and the Warriors both pulled some early interest from the table.<br><br>The 25-year-old spoke with the Eels earlier in the season but they have since spent big on NSW prop Justin Poore, Sydney Roosters forward Shane Shackleton and former Test star Timana Tahu, while the Warriors have signed sacked Cronulla halfback Brett Seymour.<br><br>The Bulldogs were today shielding Holdsworth and his team-mates from the media but the playmaker’s manager Sam Ayoub said England loomed as the most likely option for 2010.<br><br>“I wouldn’t say that the Bulldogs are out of the equation but I don’t think they are looking at him as a priority at the moment,” Ayoub said.<br><br>“There has been a bit of interest in the NRL but we’re mainly looking overseas at the moment.<br><br>“He is still in limbo unfortunately.<br><br>“But [with Kimmorley injured] this might be a chance to press his claims.”<br><br>It has been a frustrating few years for Holdsworth, who has played just 67 games for the Bulldogs since joining from St George Illawarra in 2006 and only 11 games this season.<br><br>However, with the finals just around the corner this could prove the chance he was looking for should he help the club make it through to yet another grand final.<br><br>Despite losing Kimmorley early yesterday the Bulldogs responded emphatically to race to a 28-4 half-time lead with coach Kevin Moore insisting they were well placed to fill the void. <br><br>“Noddy didn’t play before Origin and we beat the Warriors over there and twice we’ve lost him in the first 10 minutes of a game and we’ve won all of those games,” Moore said.<br><br>“Ideally you want him there because he’s such a big part of what we do but I think the structure of our footy and the depth we have within the club means we can handle that sort of adversity.<br><br>“It’s a challenge. <br><br>“We’ve faced adversity on a number of occasions this season and we’ve always responded really well.<br><br>“Every no.7 is important to your team but maybe we’re not as hurt as other sides might be given that we’ve got a quality no.9 and Ben Roberts has had a fantastic year.”<br><br>The Bulldogs moved to the top of the NRL ladder with their win yesterday and can seal the minor premiership with victory over Wests Tigers at the Sydney Football Stadium this Friday night. <br>