England and Saracens pair Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje are among the nominations named by World Rugby for the player of the year award.
The duo, who were nominated in the men's category last year as well had an extended season after their involvement with the British and Irish Lions' tour of New Zealand this summer.
Apart from the duo, New Zealand's pair Beauden Barrett and Rieko Ioane and Australia's Israel Folau are also in contention to win the award.
Meanwhile, in the women's category, England's Lydia Thompson, New Zealand duo Kelly Brazier and Portia Woodman and France pair Romane Menager and Safi N'Diaye have been shortlisted.
"There have been numerous highlights from a fascinating year of international rugby that comprised an outstanding Women's Rugby World Cup, a compelling British and Irish Lions tour, Six Nations and The Rugby Championship competitions and a superb programme of Test rugby," said World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont.
"I am sure there will be lots of debate over the coming weeks. I'd like to thank the panel for their expert consideration and look forward to the winners being announced at the World Rugby Awards in Monaco."
The awards ceremony will take place at the Salle des Etoiles in Monte-Carlo on 26th November.