Steve Williams (59)
8 teams still means 9 rounds, just like 2017, unless they decide to cut the bye round completely in which case it will be a 7 round season, only 1 less then 2017. In 2017 with 9 teams, they were able to play the bye round concurrently to the season, in 2018 wth an even number of teams they won't have that luxury. I can't see them cutting the bye, certainly not with the inclusion of Fiji in the comp now, they need a break from touring at some point.
Where are you getting this idea? There were, unless I'm mistaken,
7 rounds in 2016
9 rounds in 2017
Soup teams don't have a guaranteed post-tour break, even after flying to South Africa and Argentina.
Yes, byes can be desirable for teams like Fiji. Doesn't make them necessary.
Flight distance from Suva to Sydney is 3200 km. Perth to Sydney is 3200 km.
Fiji need to harden up … (i) easy start: Home/Away/Home; (ii) short tour out: Away/Away; and then (iii) Home/Home … is but one option. Sorted.