But Dragons Paul Turner insists he has no hesitations in letting Smith lead his men out at Kingsholm.
Turner said: "Ashley has proved to be a natural leader who organises the team and players around him. He is a dedicated individual with skills in both defence and attack and a great example of the natural progression within the region from academy level into the senior squad. I'm sure he will serve us well as captain against Gloucester this weekend."
Turner has made nine changes for the battle against Dean Ryan's men who lost to Cardiff Blues in Europe last weekend.
But the former Gloucester coach reckons it was vital to freshen up his pack and give some of his players the weekend off.
Turner said: "The Heineken Cup has produced some huge performances from our squad and there were a lot of tired bodies in the squad. We face a big challenge against a team that have a great home record.
"I fully appreciate what a great rugby town it is and would urge the fans to get behind the Dragons as they did so well at Bath last weekend."
Newport Gwent Dragons: Phil Dollman, Tal Selley, Rhodri Gomer Davies, Ashley Smith (captain), Richard Fussell, Shaun Connor, Wayne Evans; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Adam Jones, Andy Hall, Danny Lydiate, Grant Webb, Richard Parks
Replacements: Tom Willis, Alex Murphy, Joe Bearman, Jamie Ringer, Gareth Maule, Jason Tovey, Tom Isaacs