All Blacks trio Piri Weepu, Jerome Kaino and Ma'a Nonu and France captain Thierry Dusautoir have been named among the six nominations for the award.
Australia's Will Genia and David Pocock round off the group, with the winner set to be announced at the IRB Awards ceremony in Auckland on October 24.
"The IRB Player of the Year award is the ultimate accolade for a player to receive in his career," said IRB chairman Bernard Lapasset.
"It takes on added significance in a Rugby World Cup year and takes into account player performances in all major internationals, including matches in the Six Nations and Tri-Nations."
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.