World Rugby has announced six shortlisted nominees, from three countries, for the Player of the Year award to be presented on 13 November.
All Blacks and Hurricanes duo Beauden Barrett and Dane Coles have been rewarded for their stellar individual performances this year and are the only southern hemisphere representatives.
England and Saracens have three representatives in Owen Farrell, Maro Itoje and Billy Vunipola. Ireland loose forward Jamie Heaslip completes the shortlist for the prestigious award.
The nominees were selected by an independent panel featuring former internationals and media members, who deliberated on every major test from the Six Nations through to those on 5 November.
The panel is chaired by Australia’s RWC 1999-winning captain John Eales and comprises former players Will Greenwood, Raphaël Ibanez, Francois Pienaar, Chris Paterson, Agustín Pichot, Scott Quinnell, Tana Umaga and Paul Wallace as well as journalists Pierre Galy (AFP), Stephen Jones (The Sunday Times), Jim Kayes (TV3) and Sergio Stuart (Ole, Argentina).
Player of the Year nominees:
Beauden Barrett (New Zealand)
Dane Coles (New Zealand)
Jamie Heaslip (Ireland)
Owen Farrell (England)
Maro Itoje (England)
Billy Vunipola (England)
Photo: Paul Gilham/Getty Images