Scotland star Mike Blair has been nominated for the IRB Player of the Year award - alongside some of the biggest names in the game.
The Edinburgh scrum-half has enjoyed a wonderful two-year period, culminating in being handed the Scotland captaincy during this year's RBS 6 Nations when regular skipper Jason White was injured.
The 27-year-old also helped Edinburgh achieve their highest-ever finish in the Celtic League as well as leading his country to wins over England in the RBS 6 Nations and Argentina on June's summer tour.
Blair has been short-listed for the top accolade alongside Wales winger Shane Williams and his captain Ryan Jones, New Zealand stand-off Dan Carter and Italy captain Sergio Parisse.
The winner will be announced at the IRB Awards dinner in London on November 23.
If Blair wins he will become the first player from the North Hemisphere to collect the award since Jonny Wilkinson following England's World Cup victory in 2003.
Italy Under-20s held off a late Samoa blitz to retain their place in the World Rugby U20 Championship on Saturday and head coach Alessandro Troncon believes the experience will have served as a valuable lesson for his young troops.