South Africa lead the way with two nominations for the world player of the year.
England have only one entry on the shortlist despite reaching tomorrow's World Cup final.
The Springboks are represented by flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit and wing Cheslin Kolbe, as they bid to become the country's first player of the year since Bryan Habana in 2007.
Tom Curry is England's solitary nominee on the strength of an outstanding 2019 that has seen the 21-year-old, who is the youngest player in Eddie Jones’s squad, scale fresh heights in Japan.
A glaring omission from the six-strong shortlist is Maro Itoje, who was the chief architect of New Zealand’s semi-final downfall when he was named man-of-the-match.
The Lions forward is missing from a group of nominees that includes Wales skipper Alun Wyn Jones, All Blacks back row Ardie Savea, and surprise nominee Joe Taufete’e of the USA.
The winner will be named at Sunday’s World Rugby awards in Tokyo.
The panel who drew up the shortlist were all-time greats Brian O’Driscoll, Richie McCaw, John Smit, and George Gregan.
The nominees for women’s world player of the year were dominated by England, with Sarah Bern, Katy Daley-Mclean, and Emily Scarratt shortlisted alongside Pauline Bourdon (France) and Kendra Cocksedge (New Zealand).