Ex-Manly Warringah Sea Eagles prop Ian Roberts says it "saddens" him that several of the club's players will reportedly boycott the decision to wear a pride jersey against Sydney.

The Sea Eagles are set to face the Roosters on Thursday in a specialised rainbow strip showing their support for the LGBTQ+ community.

But it has been reported that possibly more than half-a-dozen stars are set to refuse to feature, citing they were not consulted by the club, leaving Roberts - the first rugby footballer in either code to come out as gay, in 1995, frustrated.

"LGBTIQA people have always been a part of sport but haven’t always been allowed the visibility," he said.

"Honestly, I have been trying to get the NRL to have a pride round for the past three years and it still hasn’t got the traction it deserves.

"It saddens me because they think having a float at the Mardi Gras is enough and it’s not."