World Rugby will announce this year's winners at their annual awards dinner in Monaco on November 26.
Following a stellar year for global rugby, the shortlists for the ultimate accolade feature players who have excited and inspired fans around the world with their feats in 2017.
The other nominees for the top accolade are Beauden Barrett (New Zealand), Owen Farrell (England and the British & Irish Lions), Rieko Ioane (New Zealand) and Maro Itoje (England and the British & Irish Lions).
She is nominated alongside Kelly Brazier (New Zealand), Portia Woodman (New Zealand), Romane Menager (France) and Safi N'Diaye (France).
The new selection process will see fans, global captains, coaches and media have their say before the panel considers the victor of the prestigious award.
World Rugby Chairman Bill Beaumont said: "There have been numerous highlights from a fascinating year of global rugby that comprised an outstanding Women's Rugby World Cup, a compelling British and Irish Lions tour, Six Nations and The Rugby Championship competitions and a superb programme of test rugby".
"As ever, the selection of Men's and Women's 15s Player of the Year nominees by the panel has excellence as the core consideration and all are not just superb players, but role models".
The 28-year-old is now taking a sabbatical from rugby whilst the Wallabies are participating in their Spring Tour, and even though Folau hasn't taken the field in Australia's last two matches against Japan and Wales, he was deemed the only Wallabies player worthy of a nomination.
28-year-old Folau's nomination comes on the back of a sensational 2017.
The final nominee is try-scoring Wallaby Israel Folau, who has been hugely impressive in the No 15 jersey for the men from down under.