New Zealand's Beauden Barrett could become only the second player to win the World Rugby Player of the Year award for two years in a row after he was named in the five-man shortlist alongside compatriot Rieko Ioane.
The nominees for World Rugby Women's Player of the Year in association with Mastercard are: Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Romane Menager (France), Safi N'Diaye (France), Lydia Thompson (England) and Portia Woodman (New Zealand).
Who will be crowned World Player of the Year?
In a new step in the selection process, fans, worldwide captains, coaches and media will have their say before the panel considers the victor of the prestigious award.
The award will be handed out on November 26th at the world rugby's annual awards dinner in Monaco.
The England team-mates, key figures in Saracens' second consecutive Champions Cup success in May when they beat ASM Clermont Auvergne in the final at BT Murrayfield, have been nominated with three southern hemisphere players for the prestigious prize.
New Zealand's Ioane, the youngest of the Player of the Year award nominees at 20, is also a part of the shortlist for the Breakthrough Player of the Year award.
The oldest of the nominees at 28, Folau has been back to his scintillating best in 2017.
Wallabies full-back Israel Folau has also been shortlisted after scoring an Australian record 12 tries in 10 Tests this year.
England captain Sarah Hunter won the award for the best player in the world a year ago, with four previous English winners in Michaela Staniford (2012), Carol Isherwood (2008), Maggie Alphosi (2006) and Shelly Rae (2001).
British and Irish Lions duo Owen Farrell and Maro Itoje lead the charge after a trophy-laden season for both club and country, following the drawn series against the world champion All Blacks.