The 2025 Rugby League World Cup is officially looking for a new host after France pulled the pin on hosting the tournament overnight.

It comes as the French government demanded a guarantee for the risk of loss for the event, following a bloated Olympics budget - which Paris will host next year - and political changes within the country.

The French-hosted tournament was originally launched in January 2022, but the dream of hosting the tournament for the first time since the 1970s, and the third time in the nation's history, is over.

"On Monday May 15th 2023, an exceptional Board meeting of France2025 was held to deliberate on the finalization of the economic and financial model for the Rugby League World Cup 2025, whose organization was given to France by the International Rugby League," the organising committee wrote in a statement.

"Despite all the work carried out by the Organizing Committee, it hasn't been possible to fully secure the risk of a deficit.

"Despite the interest shown in this unique sport for all event with 4 competitions in one (Wheelchair, Women's, Men's, Youth) and accessible to all thanks to our ticketing rates, and despite the desire shown by several cities across France to host World Cup matches, the Board had to decide to renounce organizing this major international competition, which the International Rugby League had entrusted to France.

"The conditions of financial viability initially defined by the State to support the project, set in January 2022, were not fully met, despite the search for solutions and the additional three months granted by the State to the organizing committee at the end of 2022.

"This difficult decision was taken so as not to threaten the robustness of the major international sporting event models that France now wishes to promote.

The IRL have confirmed they are now beginning on work on finding a replacement host for the 2025 tournament, with Australia and New Zealand already shaping as the most likely options to fill the void.

The IRL will meet at a board meeting in July which will also shape the qualification path with a changed host. Chairman Tony Grant said there was more international content being worked on as well.

“Despite our focus having been on France, we will now accelerate our consideration of other contingency options," Grant said in a statement.

“The board meets face to face in July and we will then be able to determine together our next steps forward and consider the other bids we have received for not only 2025, but 2029, 2033 and World Cup 9s events in the future.

“Exciting international content for 2023 and 2024, in addition to the recent historic Tongan tour to England, will be announced publicly shortly, which will be the front end of our much needed and highly anticipated calendar.”

The New Zealand Rugby League have already expressed a desire in hosting the tournament alongside Australia, which the two countries did last in 2017, with Papua New Guinea also contributing.

"We are exploring the possibility of a southern hemisphere RLWC as an alternative to France 2025," NZRL CEO Greg Peters said in a statement.

"We're keen to work with the ARLC to host the tournament in New Zealand and Australia and have started the conversations. Bringing the international tournament down under is an exciting proposition not only for the fans but our Indigenous and Pasifika communities."