Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Bismarck du Plessis, Duane Vermeulen and Bok captain Jean de Villiers, the 2008 winner who led South Africa to 10 victories in 12 Tests in 2013, will contest the honour.
“The nominees in the various categories are a fair reflection of what has been a very good year for South African rugby,” SA Rugby Union (Saru) CEO Jurie Roux said.
Etzebeth was also nominated in the category of Young Player of the Year, and faced competition from fellow Springboks Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi and Jan Serfontein, as well as Springbok Sevens and under-20 star Cheslin Kolbe.
Pumas try-scoring ace Rosco Speckman was nominated in two categories -Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup First Division player of the year.
The race for Coach of the Year was between Heyneke Meyer, Jimmy Stonehouse and Brendan Venter. Their respective teams – the Springboks, the Pumas and the Sharks’ Currie Cup side were nominated for team of the year.
Cheetahs’s versatile player Le Roux, Vermeulen or Adriaan Strauss would slug it out for Super Rugby player of the year.
The nominations for best try would be finalised early in 2014 and the winners named at in Johannesburg on February 12.
All the nominations for 2013 (in alphabetical order):
Saru Rugby Player of the Year: Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Willie le Roux, Duane Vermeulen.
Young Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit, Eben Etzebeth, Cheslin Kolbe, Siya Kolisi, Jan Serfontein.
Team of the Year: Steval Pumas (Vodacom Cup, Currie Cup First Division),
The Sharks (Currie Cup), Springboks.
Coach of the Year: Heyneke Meyer (Springboks), Jimmy Stonehouse (Pumas), Brendan Venter (The Sharks Currie Cup).
SA Under-20 Player of the Year: Jacques du Plessis, Cheslin Kolbe, Seabelo Senatla.
SA Sevens Player of the Year: Cornal Hendricks, Frankie Horne, Seabelo Senatla.
Super Rugby Player of Year: Willie le Roux (Cheetahs), Adriaan Strauss (Cheetahs), Duane Vermeulen (Stormers).
Vodacom Cup Player of the Year: Marnitz Boshoff (Golden Lions), Rosco Speckman (Pumas), Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks XV)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Cheslin Kolbe (Western Province), Scarra Ntubeni (Western Province), Fred Zeilinga (The Sharks).
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Alshaun Bock (SWD Eagles), Tiger Mangweni (EP Kings), Rosco Speckman (Pumas).