Were you an officer ? Did you address the soldiers directly as "Boys" ?Due to his background I'm sure. Not the same, but we used to call our soldiers "The Boys". Absolutely not condescending (we relied on them!); other regiments used 'Jocks' etc. But the continual use today did sound grating to English ears.
I don't think that is "oft heard".Oft heard when you ask the captain to speak to his players... "Boys come in..." If often go for a beer with "the boys". I am struggling to know if the OP is serious.
I don’t actually see that an ‘excuse’ is required, as I don’t see that calling the players ‘boys’ is in any way an issue."Guys" is indeed very different from "Boys" but if you did come to realise that you were using an inappropriate term in every day conversation.. then surely you'd just stop using it, right?
I don't see why him being Australian makes much difference, it's a global world now, AG is a young man operating on an international stage, being Australian is no excuse
I've been trying to refer to them as "players" that way I'm including the juniors where we have mixed teams and also no need to change if I'm appointed to a women's match.I don't particularly like gendered language that isn't relevant eg "ladies & gentlemen", "boys & girls", etc [aside: why does ladies come before gentlemen but boys before girls?]
If he'd used "lads" ... is that better? Lads isn't a very common word in Australia so that may sound more condescending & artificial. "Guys" sounds too American.
If a ref used "girls" in a womens' match ... OK or not?
If a female referee used "boys" in a men's match ... OK or not?
What is a better collective phrase ... "OK, you lot, scrum over here"?