Warning. If you have a weak stomach, look away now.

Fortunately, the current Rugby World Cup has not featured many devastating injuries but by nature rugby (and league) is a risky sport where players risk horrendous injuries.

Here's seven of the worst with All Blacks featuring prominently:

1. Buck Shelford (All Blacks)


Buck Shelford's grisly injury suffered at the hands of a dastardly French team at Nantes in 1986 is now rugby folklore. The man who would go on to become an undefeated All Blacks captain was early in his test career but already as tough as teak. Shelford has his scrotum rucked open and lost teeth in the infamous game now known as the 'Battle of Nantes'. Earlier this year, Shelford confirmed long-held rumours that the French players had taken amphetamines before the game - a claim made in a book written by a French investigative journalist.

2. Jasin Goldsmith (All Blacks)

Only hardcore rugby fans are likely to remember Goldsmith who had a touch of Christian Cullen about him. But the Bay of Plenty flyer was enormously talented and seemingly destined for a lengthy All Blacks career when he made the New Zealand squad in 1988 at aged only 18. Then disaster struck. After moving to Auckland, he suffered a terrible broken leg, The spiral fracture of his tibia created more than a dozen fractures and Goldsmith had a plate half the length of the bone inserted to fix it. He was never the same player again and retired at age 24.

3. Cameron Ciraldo (Australia)

This one was a shocker. Ciraldo was an Australian league player so technically he's not a rugby man. But he makes our list because there's no doubt league is just as tough as union. Ciraldo suffered a fractured fibula and mangled ankle in a 2009 NRL match playing for Newcastle after his foot became wedged during a tackle in a game against the Cronulla Sharks. It was so bad in fact, the foot ended up turned around the wrong way. Watch footage and look at photos of the injury at your peril.

4. Lewis Moody (England)

The Bath flanker and former England captain resumed his career despite suffering permanent eye damage in a 2010 collision with Gloucester's Charlie Sharples. A man who wasn't a stranger to getting injured, Moody spoke about the injury, "I lost all my sight in that eye for 24 hours, which was a bit nerve-racking. But I was fairly confident it would improve, and it's now at the level where you just have to get on with it."

5. Piri Weepu (All Blacks)

Many Wellington fans still remember the sight of the popular halfback being ferried off Westpac Stadium chugging on pain relief from a morphine whistle. Weepu suffered a badly broken lower right leg during an NPC clash with Taranaki in 2010. There were audible gasps in the crowd as the big screen replayed his right ankle being twisted as he was tackled while attempting a chip kick ahead. Surgeons had to use six screws and a plate to repair the damage to his leg and ankle. But the irrepressible Weepu was back just a year later to play a key role in the All Blacks' 2011 World Cup triumph.

6. Morgan Stoddart (Wales)

During Wales' opening 2011 World Cup warm up test against England in August, the Scarlets' back suffered a broken left leg that required surgical repairs. After waiting 14 months to make his comeback, the injury issues resurfaced, forcing the flying back to retire immediately.

7. Drew Mitchell (Australia)

The Wallaby winger who is second only to Jonah Lomu in scoring the most tries at a World Cup suffered a sickening collision with opponent and fellow Wallaby Scott Higginbotham in a Super Rugby match in 2010. He suffered a dislocated ankle and leg fractures requiring surgical repairs. It meant he watched the 2011 World Cup from home. "I sort of was in the moment," he said at the time. "But five seconds after (the injury), looking at it and seeing the position it was in, it's funny how quickly my thoughts went to the World Cup."