Itoje won his 50th cap in the victory against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.
Wallabies head coach Dave Rennie is in the running for coach of the year alongside compatriot Ian Foster (New Zealand men), Simon Middleton (England women), as well as Allan Bunting and Corey Sweeney (New Zealand women’s sevens).
The women’s shortlist had two players each from England and France, with Zoe Aldcroft and Poppy Cleall joined by Caroline Boujard and Laure Sansus.
“The pandemic and its consequences have restricted several unions from playing international games this year and we recognise that not all rugby stars have had a chance to shine,” World Rugby chairman Bill Beaumont said in a statement.
“Nevertheless, the World Rugby Awards Panel has done an amazing job in selecting suitable candidates in each category.”
Fans will get the chance to pick the men’s and women’s players of the year, with voting open from Nov. 15-21. A panel vote will determine the coach of the year.