Leinster and Ireland duo Brian O’Driscoll and Jamie Heaslip have been nominated for the International Rugby Board (IRB) player of the year award…

Number eight Heaslip appears alongside O’Driscoll in recognition of the duo’s contribution towards Ireland’s Grand Slam triumph and the summer Lions tour to South Africa.

Their Lions team-mate Tom Croft is England’s solitary representative, completing the northern hemisphere’s contingent.

Perennial nominee and New Zealand openside Richie McCaw features, as does Australia fly-half Matt Giteau.

The winner will be announced, together with the IRB coach of the year and IRB team of the year, during the final weekend of November Tests.

The nominees were selected by the IRB awards independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with over 500 Test caps between them.

Wales winger Shane Williams is the reigning IRB world player of the year.