Wales' Grand slam-winning duo Ryan Jones and Shane Williams have been shortlisted for the prestigious IRB Player of the Year award.
The International Rugby Board has announced a five-strong shortlist. The winner will be announced at the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline in London on November 23.
Scotland scrum half Mike Blair, New Zealand fly half and 2005 IRB Player of the Year Dan Carter, Italy captain Sergio Parisse and Wales pair Shane Williams and Ryan Jones have been nominated for the most prestigious award in world rugby.
"The IRB Player of the Year Award is the ultimate accolade for a player and takes into account performances in all the major internationals played during the year including the RBS Six Nations, Tri Nations and the June-July Tests," said International Rugby Board Chairman, Bernard Lapasset.
"The list of past winners of this coveted award is impressive and reads like a who's who of the international Game in recent years. Jonny Wilkinson, Schalk Burger, Richie McCaw, Fabien Galthié, Dan Carter, Bryan Habana and Keith Wood were all worthy recipients of the award, while Carter would be the first player to win twice should he be selected," added Lapasset.
The nominees were selected by the Awards' independent panel of judges, comprising former internationals with over 500 Test caps between them. The panel, which also votes on the IRB Team and Coach of the Year during the same period, has deliberated over every major Test this year.
Tana Umaga, Raphaël Ibanez, Will Greenwood, Francois Pienaar, Agustin Pichot, Gavin Hastings, Scott Quinnell, Paul Wallace and convenor John Eales watched over 47 hours of action from 35 matches, awarding points to the three players they thought stood out in each match.
"Now that the shortlist has been selected the panel will reconvene during the November Tests when the IRB Player of the Year will be selected. The announcement will be made at the IRB Awards in association with Emirates Airline in London on November 23, which is the most prestigious annual celebration of the international game," added Lapasset.
The WRU has launched a campaign to create a long term legacy for Welsh club rugby by highlighting the advantages of volunteering. Rhian Edwards, a volunteer at Seven Sisters, has enjoyed many benefits of her volunteering at a grassroots rugby club including being part of the Rugby World Cup volunteer workforce after being nominated by the WRU - and the WRU is asking for more people to develop their 'Welsh rugby roots'.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland and captain Sam Warburton say their first prioirty on Sunday in the opening game of the World Cup is to win against Uruguay and not get overly concerned with points difference.
With only days to go until the biggest rugby competition in the world begins, rugby fans visiting Cardiff this autumn will be able to enjoy a special display at National Museum Cardiff as part of the celebrations surrounding the Rugby World Cup.
Geraint John has taken up the new role of WRU elite coach development manager having arrived in Wales last week. WRU TV caught up with him at the WRU rugby department's strategy day at the Millennium Stadium.