Lealiifano, who played in the World Cup three years after being diagnosed with leukaemia, has been shortlisted for the Comeback of the Year at the prestigious awards.
The 32-year-old, who is now playing with NTT Communications in the Japanese Top League, is joined by some giants of global sports including Andy Murray, NBA star Kawhi Leonard and swimmer Nathan Adrian.
Lealiifano was diagnosed with leaukaemia in 2016, just months after the birth of his son, Jeremih, and underwent months of treatment that forced him to miss much of the 2017 Super Rugby season.
The flyhalf returned to some of his best rugby in recent seasons to force his way back into Wallabies calculations and ultimately become the first-choice 10 in the 2019 Rugby World Cup.
Golfing icon Tiger Woods won the award last year, while rugby stars Schalk Burger and Dan Carter have also been previous winners.
While he is the only Australian to be nominated for an award, there are a number of rugby inclusions in the shortlists.
The Japan national team are in the running for Breakthrough of the Year, while the Springboks have been included in the nominees for the World Team of the Year.
The global sports media votes for the Laureus awards, which began in 2000, and the winners will be announced in a ceremony in Berlin on February 17.