Cape Town - Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk is one of five players nominated for the 2017/18 English Player of the Season award.
It is a major honour for the 26-year-old, who left the Lions for Sale Sharks at the start of the campaign.
De Klerk is joined on the list by Danny Cipriani (Wasps), Don Armand (Exeter Chiefs), Jamie Gibson (Northampton Saints) and Vereniki Goneva (Newcastle Falcons).
Having won all 11 of his Test caps in 2016, De Klerk then fell out of favour with former Springbok coach Allister Coetzee in 2017.
He is widely expected, however, to be new coach Rassie Erasmus' first choice No 9 in 2018.
Sale Sharks finished in 8th position on the Premiership log, missing out on the playoffs.