Bell Ding-Dong with Pal Gethin

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Byline: By GARY BAKER

The man who missed out on the Grand Slam is eager to face the Welsh pal he rates the best loosehead prop in the business at Twickenham in next year's Six Nations Championship. And Cardiff-based England tighthead Duncan Bell reckons Sir Clive Woodward would be completely mad to leave Welsh hero Gethin Jenkins out of the British Lions Test side to face New Zealand this summer.

The man who could have been in Mike Ruddock's squad this year had an International Rugby Board ruling over his eligibility prevented him from playing, was tearing into the Scots with England last Saturday.

But the 30-year-old, who played in the same Pontypridd pack as Jenkins, hooker Mefin Davies, locks Brent Cockbain and Robert Sidoli plus last Saturday's Welsh captain Michael Owen, spoke to his best friend the day after the match.

He said, 'I spoke to Gethin on Sunday afternoon and he was delighted. I speak to him regularly and to Mefin now and again. I know how hard they have worked over the last couple of years.

'I've been saying it for ages that Gethin is just about the world's best loosehead prop and, if he's not starting for the Lions against New Zealand, there's something wrong.

'He's incredibly fit and he reads the game really well. I could see it when I was at Pontypridd four years ago when Gethin was 20 that he would be a world-beater.

'Back then as well, you could see that Michael Owen was going to be a great player. …