Out gay rugby player Gareth Thomas has spoken of his hurt at being targeted by homophobic fans at a recent match.

Thomas, a former Welsh Lions star, currently plays for league side Crusaders, having joined from union team Cardiff Blues.

Last month, he was subjected to abuse from fans at Castleford.

He said: “When I was on the field at Castleford I could hear some chants from a small section of the crowd.

“It wasn’t very nice and I was pretty hurt by what I could hear. I’m only human and I can’t deny I was hurt. I think the RFL have taken action against Castleford over their fans and I’ve been told there were people in the crowd telling those chanting to shut up.

“Perhaps we need to go through this so that those few people realise no one else will stand for it and then it hopefully won’t happen to the next person who comes out.”

Speaking to the Guardian, Thomas also revealed he has never actually come out to his parents.

He said: “I don’t think I’ve ever told them I’m gay. When me and Jemma split they kind of put two and two together. At the time I couldn’t really say the word ‘gay’ because I wasn’t ready. Now I know they know and so we haven’t had the big dramatic conversation.”

He added that his mother insisted on opening champagne when the news of his homosexuality broke as a “celebration of the rest of my life”.