The American has been in top form throughout the current campaign, scoring 10 tries in his 26 first team appearances. The lock also helped the USA qualify for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, scoring a try in Montevideo against Uruguay, and has received rave reviews from the rugby press.
Manoa is on a six-man short-list, with the winner being announced at the 2014 Aviva Premiership Rugby Awards at the Hilton, Park Lane, on May 15th.
Should he take home the trophy, Manoa will be the third Saint to win the Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Season award in the last five years, following in the footsteps of Tom Wood (2011) and Chris Ashton (2010).
"There were a number of compelling candidates for this prestigious title and it was very difficult to reduce it to a six-man shortlist," said Phil Winstanley, Premiership Rugby's rugby director. "I think the panel managed to arrive at a very balanced list, forwards and backs side by side.
"We've had an incredible season so far, and the length of the deliberations for the awards reflects the current standard of Aviva Premiership Rugby. The closeness of the matches is reflected in the fact that no one club has more than one player on the shortlist.”
The shortlist was compiled by a panel of media professionals – Stephen Jones (Sunday Times), Chris Hewett (The Independent), Nick Mullins (BT Sport), Ben Coles (Planet Rugby), Mick Cleary (Daily Telegraph), Jill Douglas (ITV Sport), Duncan Bech (Press Association), Alastair Eykyn (BT Sport) and David Rogers (Getty Images). They were joined by Phil Winstanley (rugby director, Premiership Rugby) and Paul Morgan (communications director, Premiership Rugby), who chaired the panel.
AVIVA PREMIERSHIP RUGBY PLAYER OF THE SEASON SHORT-LIST
- Dan Braid (Sale Sharks)
- Mike Brown (Harlequins)
- Jacques Burger (Saracens)
- Vereniki Goneva (Leicester Tigers)
- Samu Manoa (Northampton Saints)
- Chris Pennell (Worcester Warriors)
2012-13: Tom Youngs (Leicester Tigers)
2011-12: Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
2010-11: Tom Wood (Northampton Saints)
2009-10: Chris Ashton (Northampton Saints)
2008-09: Chris Robshaw (Harlequins)
2007-08: James Simpson-Daniel (Gloucester Rugby)
2006-07: Martin Castrogiovanni (Leicester Tigers)
2005-06: Mike Catt (London Irish)
2004-05: Martin Corry (Leicester Tigers)